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Twenty-five cylinders of nitrous oxide among items stolen from King George Hospital, Goodmayes, and Queen’s Hospital, Romford

PUBLISHED: 10:28 05 September 2013 | UPDATED: 11:03 05 September 2013

Queen's Hospital

Queen's Hospital

Archant

Twenty-five cylinders of laughing gas and an “emergency department” sign are among the items stolen from hospitals in Romford and Goodmayes since 2009.

Items reported stolen from Queen’s Hospital and King George Hospital since 2009/10

17 laptops and two desktop computers

Two computer monitors

Two cameras

25 cylinders of nitrous oxide (laughing gas)

Bag

ID card

Bicycle

Scooter

Toys

Two blood glucose monitors

Car parking fees

Cash box

Emergency department sign

Foetal sonicaid (used for monitoring unborn babies)

Hats

Scarves

Pachymeter (used for measuring corneal thickness)

20 empty pallets

Petty cash tin

Two phones

Picture glass panel

PlayStation 3

Projector

Purse

Sanitary towel dispenser

Two lots of scrap metal taken from bins

Spirigel (hand sanitiser)

Stationery

Change from vending machine

Three-wheeled walker

Toaster

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.”


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