Scotland

Equipment worth £1m lost or stolen from NHS Scotland

Person using a laptop computer
Image caption Some health boards said laptops had been stolen

Equipment worth £1.13m has been lost or stolen from NHS Scotland in a year, figures show.

The 2009/10 figure was almost double the previous year's figure.

Scottish Labour health spokesman Richard Simpson said the stolen items included laptops which may hold "sensitive patient information".

The Scottish government said the numbers may have increased due to rigorous reporting of losses and a "high value of stock write-offs".

Last year equipment worth £252,611 was registered as lost from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Other totals included £166,637 in Highland, £111,619 in Tayside and £145,522 in Lothian.

Lower figures included £47,107 in Grampian, £15,940 from the Scottish Ambulance Service and £9,611 from the state hospital at Carstairs.

Sensitive information

Dr Simpson, who obtained the figures, said: "It is difficult to imagine a worse crime than stealing from a hospital. The people who are doing this are the lowest of the low.

"I have been told by individual health boards that the items taken from NHS premises include laptops, which may hold sensitive patient information, along with valuable medical equipment and even hospital furniture.

"We simply cannot afford for this to continue and I am calling on the Scottish government to take urgent action to ensure that the criminals are caught and expensive equipment stays where it belongs."

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