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Thieves target our hospitals

PUBLISHED: 17:58 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:44 11 August 2010

THIEVES have stolen thousands of pounds worth of equipment from hospitals serving Barking and Dagenham in the past three years. In total there were 36 separate incidents of theft recorded across the Barking, Havering, and Redbridge NHS Trust since 2005.

THIEVES have stolen thousands of pounds worth of equipment from hospitals serving Barking and Dagenham in the past three years.

In total there were 36 separate incidents of theft recorded across the Barking, Havering, and Redbridge NHS Trust since 2005.

Stolen items range from expensive and bulky equipment such as computers and laptops, to everyday items like coffee and milk.

One of the most serious incidents happened at King George Hospital at Goodmayes in February last year, when equipment worth £1,800, including a trolley, was stolen.

In the following month two large double fridges, used for storing vaccines, were taken from Queen's Hospital, Romford.

Theft of computers will perhaps cause the most concern because of the risk of information falling into the wrong hands.

The biggest single theft of computers was from King George in July, 2006 when four were taken in a single day.

But the research, compiled by More4 News, shows that not all the crimes involved expensive items.

In June, 2006 a thief walked out of King George with two blankets, two sheets, a tube of hand gel, some sugar, milk, and coffee.

And at Queen's in May last year someone stole four pens, children's sweets, hand cream and two Polaroid film packs.

A spokeswoman for BHR NHS Trust said: "Unfortunately theft of hospital property is an issue for the whole of the NHS.

"The very purpose of hospitals, designed as public buildings, can make it difficult to safeguard property and equipment.

"Staff are regularly reminded to lock offices and safeguard property. We also have CCTV in our hospitals, which is permanently monitored.

"If computers are stolen there is no risk of medical records being leaked as these are not stored on them or laptops.


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