Thieves have been targeting vulnerable and sick patients at Chesterfield Royal Hospital- with dozens of thefts reported at the site within the past year.
A Freedom of Information request submitted to the Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust revealed there have been 27 thefts from patients over the last 12 months.
The office of Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins obtained the figures after a concerned resident contacted him claiming that his mother’s gold necklace had gone missing during her stay at the Royal in August 2018.
The exact nature of the other thefts at the site are unknown.
Mr Perkins said: “At a time when patients are understandably most concerned about their health, it is particularly disappointing that 27 people have suffered thefts at Chesterfield Royal Hospital in the last 12 months.
“I want to raise awareness about this so that patients and their families can take every precaution.
“But I am also calling on the hospital to do more to ensure that patients are properly briefed about the risk of theft on arrival.”
A spokesman for Chesterfield Royal Hospital said: “Each year we see 40,000 inpatients, 250,000 outpatients and 80,000 patients come through the doors of our Emergency Department.
“We advise people to always leave valuables at home but have a thorough system of measures in place to reduce the risk of personal belongings going missing.”
The Trust have launced a video on their website explaining what to bring to the hospital as an in-patient, advising against bringing in ‘large sums of money’ or ‘items of value’.
“A Welcome Booklet is also handed to every patient on admission containing the same information,” added the spokesman.
“If it is not possible for valuables to be sent home then items will be logged, signed and documented by ward staff and taken to our Patient Accounts Office for safekeeping, following a robust and detailed policy.
“If an item is reported as stolen then we treat it very seriously, logging it on our incident reporting system.
“It is also reported to police, given a crime reference number and we work closely with officers to investigate it thoroughly through to its conclusion, including prosecution.”
A guide on what patients should and should not bring when staying at Chesterfield Royal Hospital is available to view at: www.chesterfieldroyal.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/staying-hospital/what-bring.