The NHS is cracking down on thieves who target hospitals, stealing from vulnerable patients and costing our publicly-funded health service.
A BBC Newcastle investigation has found while patients are ill in hospital they’ve had money, rings, laptops – even their slippers and walking stick – stolen.
But that’s not all. Thousands of pounds worth of equipment, lead and copper was taken from the hospitals themselves – and because the NHS insures itself, it’s you and I the taxpayer who pays for it.
I have been investigating – starting at the CCTV control room at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead with their Estates Manager Andy Colwell:
The hospitals concerned declined to comment apart from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who told me:
“As an organisation with several hospital and community based sites serving a population of over 500,000 people across North Tyneside and Northumberland, we are pleased to say that we do not have any major problems with thefts from our premises.
“We would always strive to take appropriate action should any thefts occur but thankfully this is a very rare occurrence.”