Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Cancer girl moved after Portsmouth hospital phone theft

The father of a nine-year-old cancer patient who had her mobile phone stolen from her Portsmouth hospital room is refusing to let her return there.

Chloe Challoner had been treated for bone cancer at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth since September.

She was due to return this week but her father Jamie Giblen, 31, of Havant, wants her to be treated at Southampton General Hospital instead.

Queen Alexandra Hospital says thefts are rare and it is working with police.

'Worst thing'

Mr Giblen, an IT specialist, said the phone, which contains photos of Chloe with her sister, was of great sentimental value.

He also said the white Sony Walkman handset with pink keys was a "lifeline", allowing the family to keep in touch with the little girl.

He said: "The worst thing is that whoever stole the phone would have known it was a children's ward and they knew full well they were taking it from a sick child.

"I just cannot believe how someone could do this under the circumstances."

Chloe, who has osteosarcoma, has been receiving treatment at both Southampton General Hospital and Queen Alexandra Hospital but Mr Giblen now wants to restrict the treatment to Southampton.

He said: "She's my first-born and I want to make sure she's safe, so that's why I've moved her to Southampton.

"I don't want her staying in QA until they find out who did this."

'Highest priorities'

Mr Giblen said he sent a text message to the phone asking for it to be returned and received a reply saying "ok" but nothing happened.

A Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust spokeswoman said: "Patients' care, their experience and their safety are and have always been the highest priorities for the trust and we are disappointed that a mobile phone has been stolen from within our paediatric unit.

"This is fortunately a rare occurrence and we are working closely with the police, supporting their investigation.

"We recognise the dissatisfaction of the patient's family in this instance, but we continue to reassure that our paediatric unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital is safeguarded by an authorised only security entrance which is regularly patrolled by our onsite security teams."

Meanwhile, a charity has stepped forward to replace the mobile phone. Andy Blackwood of the Jamie's Wish Trust is presenting a new handset to the family later.

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