£20,700 of items go from hospitals
Published 21/01/2013 | 18:36
A hot water tank, pressure washer and microwave oven were among the items stolen from hospitals during the past three years, it was revealed.
Thefts totalling £20,737 were recorded by four of the five health and social care trusts since 2009.
The South Eastern Trust which operates the Ulster, Lagan Valley and Downe hospitals said a number of break-ins had resulted in the loss of equipment worth £8,599. A spokeswoman said: "The main item listed was a pressure washer. Other items were due to break-ins to the groundsman stores in Lagan Valley and the Downshire hospitals."
In Belfast, medical gear worth £3,906 went missing, was lost or was classed as possibly stolen from premises such as the Royal Victoria, City or Mater Hospitals. Among the missing items was a blood glucose monitor, dressings, insulin syringes and a set of ultrasonic scales.
The Northern Trust, which runs Antrim Area and Causeway Hospitals, recorded the theft of a £50 microwave, laptop computer and mobile phones.
A spokeswoman said: "Over the last three years, 2009 to 2012, we had a total loss of £5,633 worth of stolen equipment. The value of this stolen equipment ranged from £50 - a microwave oven - to £2,300 for a hot water tank and fittings. We also had items such as a laptop and mobile phones stolen."
In the Western Health Trust area, laptop computers, an i-pad and a digital photo frame were the targets for thieves.
Dr Kieran McCarthy, who tabled an Assembly question on the issue, said: "It just goes to show that anything that somebody wants, if it is in the hospital or trust grounds, is there for the taking.
"Perhaps there needs to be more stringent security measures. These people are doing the trust and health service out of money. Even a small amount is not acceptable. That could be put back into services."
The Southern Health and Social Care Trust said there were no thefts on any of its premises over the three years from 2009 to 2012.