December 9 2013 Latest news:
Ramzy Alwakeel , Reporter
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Twenty-five cylinders of laughing gas and an “emergency department” sign are among the items stolen from hospitals in Romford and Goodmayes since 2009.
17 laptops and two desktop computers
Two computer monitors
25 cylinders of nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
Two blood glucose monitors
Car parking fees
Emergency department sign
Foetal sonicaid (used for monitoring unborn babies)
Pachymeter (used for measuring corneal thickness)
20 empty pallets
Petty cash tin
Picture glass panel
Sanitary towel dispenser
Two lots of scrap metal taken from bins
Spirigel (hand sanitiser)
Change from vending machine
Callous raiders have also broken into lockers at Queen’s Hospital and King George Hospital and taken personal effects such as a bag and an ID card.
The total haul over the last four years includes 19 computers, a bottle of hand sanitiser and a device for measuring the thickness of people’s corneas.
But while electronics are a favourite target for crooks – phones, cameras and a games console have been taken – thefts of cash are relatively low, with two cash tins, a purse and change from a vending machine representing the total of money stolen since 2009.
It comes to light following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Recorder.
A trust spokesman said the theft of items like nitrous oxide was no laughing matter as the trust is “self-insured” - meaning it has to dig into its own pocket to replace goods.
“We work hard to keep trust and patients’ property as secure and safe as possible,” she said.
“However, we have to allow patients and visitors access to our wards and departments, so cannot keep everything under lock and key.
“It is extremely disappointing that people steal from the NHS.
“Many of the items stolen from our hospitals have been paid for by charitable donations, with people fundraising to provide patients with the latest equipment, or items which will make their stay in hospital more pleasant.
“We also see a high level of goods stolen from our children’s wards.
“As well as being very upsetting for our staff and patients, the trust also has to pay to replace essential items.
“Our security policy is being constantly reviewed, and we are doing all we can to protect property, but we would ask people coming in to our hospitals to leave valuables at home, and to alert us if they see anything untoward.”