The Trust that runs Scarborough Hospital has reported dozens of thefts of staff and patient property since 2020 ranging from hedge trimmers to cash
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Between January 2020 and May 2023, there have been at least 35 reported thefts of hospital equipment, drugs, and patients’ possessions across hospital sites run by the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The NHS Trust, which manages hospital sites across Scarborough, York, and Bridlington, has seen an increasing trend of thefts with a total of six reported in 2020, nine in 2021, 12 last year, and eight in the first five months of this year.
A Freedom of Information (FoI) request by the Local Democracy Reporting Service found that stolen items included hospital property such as work mobile phones, a hedge trimmer, drugs in the form of adrenaline, as well as Ipads, laptops, and books.
Meanwhile, there were several reported instances of money having been stolen from patients, as well as air pods, clothes, handbags, and a bank card reported as stolen.
The FoI request also revealed that as a result of theft, disciplinary action against one individual member of staff “resulted in a summary dismissal” in 2022.
A spokesperson for the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We aim to provide a safe and secure place for staff, visitors, and patients, and thankfully thefts are rare.
“Our security management team take all incidents of theft seriously and take active steps to investigate and reduce incidents of this nature.
“Across the Trust, we also have a number of arrangements in place to prevent theft, which includes security guards on site 24 hours a day, 24/7 CCTV monitoring, as well as a fully auditable swipe door system in place, for example.”
The Trust said that it did not centrally record the value of items stolen and as such it was not able to estimate the value of the stolen items.
It declined to provide descriptions of the incidents where thefts occurred, on the basis that doing so could “potentially lead to the identification of individuals” including victims and witnesses of crime.
The Trust’s spokesperson added: “However, we can never fully eliminate the risk of theft due to the high number of people coming into our hospitals every day, and we must balance security measures with the inconvenience of restricting patient and visitor access to our sites.”