Patient Reports £11,500 In Cash Stolen From London Hospital

A patient at one of London's largest hospitals has reported the theft of £11,500 cash from their ward on Sunday.

Police in London have launched an investigation into the alleged theft.

The patient, who remains unnamed by authorities, had been checked into the Royal Free in Hampstead, North West London for an operation on Friday and reported the missing cash on Sunday.

The Royal Free was the third worst affected in a list of hospitals suffering from thefts, using data collated from a survey in 2015.

The survey found that 190 thefts from patients had been reported at the Royal Free in the three previous years and common items stolen included wedding rings, phones and cash.

Royal Free hospital
Royal Free hospital

Credit: PA

Just last year, a Royal Free nurse was struck off after taking a vulnerable patient's bank card and using it in a hospital cash machine to steal almost £1000.

Karisma Garcia was working at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead when she stole the money in October 2014.

Garcia, who qualified in 2002, had allegedly been asked by the patient to withdraw £100 for him, using his bank card.

However, the patient then reported the card missing and Garcia was caught on the hospital's CCTV cameras heading back to the hospital ATM to withdraw £700 in cash for herself.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council ruled she should be struck off.

In a written ruling, the panel said: "[The patient] was a vulnerable individual and although no physical harm was caused, there was psychological harm caused by Miss Garcia's dishonesty. He was reported to have been upset by what had occurred.

"It is highly likely that the incident would have a lasting impact on [him] and the trust he would place on nurses in the future.

"Miss Garcia's actions have brought the nursing profession into disrepute and her conviction breaches fundamental tenets of the nursing profession, namely those of honesty and a requirement to act lawfully."

Despite these two incidents, thefts from hospitals are not a common problem.

Royal Free hospital
Royal Free hospital

Credit: PA

Perhaps more worrying for patients is the news announced today that an NHS contractor has failed to process 709,000 pieces of medical correspondence - a blunder that could affect around 1,700 people.

The lost documents include important things such as treatment plans, details of changes to what drugs patients should be taking, child protection notes and the results of various kinds of diagnostic tests.

"It is a disgrace that this service failed so badly that patient care was being compromised," said Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the British Medical Association's GPs committee.

"Patients will rightly be angry that this private company, contracted by the NHS, has failed practices and patients to such an extent."

Sources: Evening Standard, Guardian

Featured Image Credit: PA

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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