Sheffield hospital has needle after Christmas trees stolen

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THIEVES have stolen thousands of pounds worth of items from Sheffield hospitals – including wheelchairs, a nurse’s uniform and Christmas trees.

Information obtained by The Star shows offenders also made off with computers, ID badges, a stethoscope and meals belonging to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the past two years.

In the last year, the value of trust property stolen has totalled more than £3,330, while items taken from patients – including cash, phones and a music player – during the same period totalled £2,595.

Over the two-year period, the value of all items stolen from the city’s adult hospitals was more than £12,000.

Trust chiefs said hospital security has been improved ‘considerably’, after the data was uncovered as part of The Star’s Your Right To Know campaign.

Kevin O’Regan, trust director of hotel services, said: “We take precautions to make it as difficult as possible for thefts to take place on our premises.

“We take every opportunity to remind patients, relatives and staff not to bring valuables or large amounts of cash into the hospitals and, if they do, to take precautions to keep them safe.

“The trust has improved security considerably over the past nine years with the extension of access control swipe cards, the installation of 600 CCTV cameras which monitor areas across the trust and intruder alarms in high-risk or high-value areas.

“There are also many checks in place to prevent the loss or theft of property.

“All thefts are taken seriously and reported to the police to take action.”

The majority of trust property thefts listed happened at the Northern General Hospital in Fir Vale, although there were several thefts from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, and one from the Jessop Wing – of soft drinks worth £3.

A laptop and £15 cash were also reported stolen by patients at Weston Park Cancer Hospital.

Overall, the most expensive items taken were a £1,500 wheelchair and metal cages of the same value from the Northern General.

Bizarre incidents included the loss of six 3ft Christmas trees worth £180, a nurse’s uniform at £50 and grapes reported stolen, along with a purse and cash, by a patient.

Items of hospital property stolen in two years - 47

Patients reporting thefts of their property - 94

Value of all thefts in the last two years - £12K

Number of CCTV cameras installed across the trust in bid to improve security - 600