Hospital Chains Toys To Sick Children's Beds To Foil Thieves

Hospital Chains Toys To Sick Children's Beds To Foil Thieves
Media Wales

A hospital has started chaining sick children's toys to beds to stop thieves stealing them.

Thefts of toys are costing the NHS £13 million a year, so hospitals have had to take the drastic measures so that poorly children won't be deprived of something to play with.

The scandal has been highlighted by dad Dean Beddis, 49, who was so appalled he took a snap of his two-year-old boy Soren trying to play with a toy shackled to his hospital cot with a bicycle lock.

Dean, whose son is being treated for bronchitis at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, told his local paper: "These toys are there for seriously ill kids, they're provided by the hospital and people are stealing them.

"I was shocked to see a toy had a bike lock on it attaching it to the cot. I was talking to the nurses about how disgusting it was they had to do that.

"People had also been stealing TVs from the parents' waiting room in the children's ward.

"To make matters worse it was a sealed ward, which meant you were only allowed in with family members, so it was not just like a member of the public was wandering in off the street and chancing it.

"Stealing toys while hospital staff are looking after their children is a sad reflection on society.

"It was total disbelief when I realised what was going on. I felt so sorry for the hardworking NHS staff. I cannot believe this is happening in Britain."

Royal Gwent Hospital is one of 14 run by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

A spokesman admitted there was a problem with theft on the wards.

He said: "Unfortunately we do get toys and games taken from our hospitals.

"It is not a regular occurrence but we do encourage staff to secure and lock away the more popular and more expensive items. Our hospitals have CCTV coverage and security on site at all times."