CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Stop stealing hand sanitiser gel from hospitals!

Hospital says its vital staff keep resources

19 March, 2020 — By Tom Foot

The Royal Free Hospital

HOSPITAL chiefs have branded thieves stealing sanitiser from patients as “unacceptable”.

With hand gel being rationed by shops and sold at premium rates by some pharmacies, there have been reports of dispensers being ripped out of wards. Staff said thefts had not been officially reported but many were aware it was happening.

A statement from the Royal Free said: “Regular hand-washing, more often than usual and for longer, remains the most effective way to combat coronavirus. At a time when clearly NHS staff and our services are going to come under real pressure, it’s vital that every possible resource is going to staff and patients who need it, which makes it even more unacceptable for anyone to take from our hospitals.”


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Hand-sanitiser gel was for many years available from dispensers fixed to the outside of hospital wards.

But this system was changed after “alcoholics” began taking them or drinking directly from the dispensers. Sanitisers are now generally on the inside of wards but even this has not stopped thieves in the coronavirus panic.

One nurse said: “I haven’t seen gel being taken, it’s hard to do. They made it much harder since the poor alcoholics started taking them from outside the wards a few years ago.”

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