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Hospital puts bite on lost dentures cost
YORK Hospital bosses have launched a pilot project to prevent patients’ dentures being stolen or lost after having to fork out thousands of pounds in compensation.
Figures released by York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have revealed that it has paid out a total of more than £39,000 in compensation for patients’ items stolen and lost over the past five years.
The amount includes almost £4,000 paid out for lost or stolen dentures alone.
A trust spokeswoman said it provided lockers for patients’ personal items and always advised them to avoid bringing cash and valuables with them when they went into hospital. She said: “However, personal items such as dentures are one of the most common items to get lost.
“Often when patients are admitted to hospital, particularly if they are elderly, they may be unable to look after their own belongings or remember what they brought with them.
“Losing spectacles, hearing aids or dentures can have a real impact on patients’ privacy, dignity and safety.” She said the trust was currently running a pilot scheme on the elderly ward at York Hospital to log which patients had dentures, so that they could be identified.
“Elsewhere in the Trust, an initiative has been introduced to encourage housekeepers and healthcare assistants to check for personal belongings before they change a patient’s bed linen, clean the bedside locker or strip the bed when the patient is being discharged home or transferred out of the hospital.”
Hospital trusts across the Yorkshire and Humber region are reported to have paid out more than £273,000 to patients for lost or stolen belongings over the five years.