Handbag stolen from unconscious patient at York Hospital

Jo Stone with her mother, Brenda Scott, who had her handbag stolen at York Hospital

Jo Stone with her mother, Brenda Scott, who had her handbag stolen at York Hospital

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by

A WOMAN’S handbag has been stolen as she lay unconscious in bed in York Hospital.

Brenda Scott, 74, from Acomb, was in hospital with breathing problems when her bag containing her purse and jewellery disappeared on January 14.

The theft has been described as “truly disgraceful” by North Yorkshire Police, who are appealing for information.

Jo Stone, her daughter, said: “The thing that upsets me is that someone has gone into her room when she was unconscious. If they were that way inclined they could have done anything to my mum.

“It made me absolutely livid. I was hurt, not just to think they took her bag, but that they could have hurt her while she was in that hospital room.”

She added that while her mother had signed a disclaimer taking responsibility for her own belongings, she had not been well enough to look after them.

Ms Stone has appealed for the return of the navy-blue long-handled shoulder bag containing a purse and two 18-inch gold chain necklaces, one with a gold ring with a St Christopher outline inside and another with an SOS tag.

A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said: “Targeting hospital patients when they are at their most vulnerable is truly disgraceful and we urge anyone who has any information to contact the police as soon as possible.

"Hospitals are busy public buildings and we appreciate patients cannot keep their belongings with them at all times, but we urge people to keep the risk of theft to a minimum by only taking essential items with them and keeping as close to them as possible.”

A spokeswoman for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said the numbers of crimes at the hospital has dropped in recent years with 81 in 2012 and 48 in 2013. There have been three crimes on the site so far this year, including the theft.

They said: “We are really sad to hear that this has happened on our premises. We aim to provide a safe and secure place for staff, visitors and patients, and thankfully thefts are rare.

“Crime on the site is falling overall, however we can never fully eliminate the risk of theft due to the high number of people coming to the hospital every day, and we would advise patients to avoid bringing valuables with them in to the hospital wherever possible.”

Last year, The Press reported how thieves stole a camera containing pictures of a couple’s newborn daughter from York Hospital’s maternity ward.

Jack Galvin, from Acomb, and Laura Wilson, from Skelton, welcomed their daughter Rosie into the world at York Hospital in June, and spent the evening and following day taking pictures of her.

The purple Samsung camera was next to Laura’s bed, but when they returned from bathing Rosie it had disappeared.

Anyone who can assist the investigation is asked to phone North Yorkshire Police on 101.

Comments (11)

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12:42pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Platform9 says...

"A spokeswoman for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said the numbers of crimes at the hospital has dropped in recent years with 81 in 2012 and 48 in 2013. There have been three crimes on the site so far this year, including the theft"

That's of those reported, my departed mum spent her last days in hospital and when she was moved from one ward to another her wedding ring was stolen. When we reported it to staff they just said it will probably turn up in her belongings (which it never did), when we asked them the next day we were told that "they are not responsible for personal items and nothing more could be done"

The standard of care is sadly lacking in the hospitals these days and access to wards is far too easy with no-one asking who you are?.
"A spokeswoman for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said the numbers of crimes at the hospital has dropped in recent years with 81 in 2012 and 48 in 2013. There have been three crimes on the site so far this year, including the theft" That's of those reported, my departed mum spent her last days in hospital and when she was moved from one ward to another her wedding ring was stolen. When we reported it to staff they just said it will probably turn up in her belongings (which it never did), when we asked them the next day we were told that "they are not responsible for personal items and nothing more could be done" The standard of care is sadly lacking in the hospitals these days and access to wards is far too easy with no-one asking who you are?. Platform9
  • Score: 10

12:43pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Grey Lady says...

Theft of any kind is a despicable act, but to target vulnerable people makes them the dregs of society.

I hope Mrs Scott is not too badly affected by this incident.
Theft of any kind is a despicable act, but to target vulnerable people makes them the dregs of society. I hope Mrs Scott is not too badly affected by this incident. Grey Lady
  • Score: 15

1:54pm Tue 21 Jan 14

anistasia says...

So sad when someone comes into hospital things should be placed in a locked locker like medications are.its sad that thing are stolen in hospital as a previous person said more security checks should be done.sorry for the family involved.
So sad when someone comes into hospital things should be placed in a locked locker like medications are.its sad that thing are stolen in hospital as a previous person said more security checks should be done.sorry for the family involved. anistasia
  • Score: 7

2:08pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Dave Ruddock says...

I know this is awful, but are hospital ward now non staff operated, from the report the lady in question was in a side ward or seperate room and no staff. I have stay in hospital and at times cant get sleep , proversy and now hear a lady is left unconciouse, not checked and a person just walks in takes things and walks out, be nicking organs under staff noses next.
I know this is awful, but are hospital ward now non staff operated, from the report the lady in question was in a side ward or seperate room and no staff. I have stay in hospital and at times cant get sleep , proversy and now hear a lady is left unconciouse, not checked and a person just walks in takes things and walks out, be nicking organs under staff noses next. Dave Ruddock
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Ican'tdecideonaname says...

Sounds to me like the lowlife was someone who can wander round the wards without creating suspicion....
Sounds to me like the lowlife was someone who can wander round the wards without creating suspicion.... Ican'tdecideonaname
  • Score: 9

4:44pm Tue 21 Jan 14

directdebbie says...

there must be some spare lockers on the wards that are not used, surely these could be put in rooms and persons belongings put in them, a and e is an open target for people to wonder round and help themselves. The times that i have had to visit a and e there is always someone asleep or really ill on the bed and there belongings lying there. Come on York NHS get the security sorted out for peoples belongings.
there must be some spare lockers on the wards that are not used, surely these could be put in rooms and persons belongings put in them, a and e is an open target for people to wonder round and help themselves. The times that i have had to visit a and e there is always someone asleep or really ill on the bed and there belongings lying there. Come on York NHS get the security sorted out for peoples belongings. directdebbie
  • Score: 3

8:48pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Devilsadvocate2 says...

I was on duty there a few years ago and had my purse and mobile taken from a supposedly locked room. The lock was a combination.
I was on duty there a few years ago and had my purse and mobile taken from a supposedly locked room. The lock was a combination. Devilsadvocate2
  • Score: 1

9:08am Wed 22 Jan 14

Dale151 says...

Agree with Platform 9. Three years ago my uncle spent his final weeks in York Hospital and had £50 taken from his wallet whilst he was asleep in a side-room. He needed some money for incidentals but hadn't reckoned on a thief being around. A miserable act by some low life. I didn't report it to Police and I presume the hospital didn't either. The hospital did investigate but repudiated liability and re-iterated that valuables should be handed in for safe keeping. It would be nice if the hospital could say they were trying to combat theft with some action rather than with terms and conditions and KPI's, otherwise it encourages the thieves to carry on as they have done.
Agree with Platform 9. Three years ago my uncle spent his final weeks in York Hospital and had £50 taken from his wallet whilst he was asleep in a side-room. He needed some money for incidentals but hadn't reckoned on a thief being around. A miserable act by some low life. I didn't report it to Police and I presume the hospital didn't either. The hospital did investigate but repudiated liability and re-iterated that valuables should be handed in for safe keeping. It would be nice if the hospital could say they were trying to combat theft with some action rather than with terms and conditions and KPI's, otherwise it encourages the thieves to carry on as they have done. Dale151
  • Score: 0

9:55am Wed 22 Jan 14

Archiebold the 1st says...

I was in hospital for a few nights and have to admit i felt dodgy leaving my phone etc on the side. There were lockers to keep it in though. I just kept everything out of site. Even still when you have a room with 4 others in they can see what you do. Nurses can not be expected to do the role of security too though. When i was there i had excellent care and i could appriciate how busy they actually are. They do a sterling job!!!!
I was in hospital for a few nights and have to admit i felt dodgy leaving my phone etc on the side. There were lockers to keep it in though. I just kept everything out of site. Even still when you have a room with 4 others in they can see what you do. Nurses can not be expected to do the role of security too though. When i was there i had excellent care and i could appriciate how busy they actually are. They do a sterling job!!!! Archiebold the 1st
  • Score: 3

10:43am Wed 22 Jan 14

inthesticks says...

Yes it is disgusting but if my mother was in hospital I would take her jewellery and valuables home, they are not needed in hospital.
We need to make our minds up as to whether we want nursing staff to care for patients or to police people`s handbags or to question every visitor who comes on the ward as to whether they have a criminal record.
Ill patients may not be able to mind their belongings very well but their offspring certainly can take some responsibility.
Why let your relative have gold or as one person said £50 in a wallet? Why don`t you ask the staff to lock them away if it is too difficult to take it home on their behalf?
Let me just say that there are many drug users who spend time in hospital and they have many visitors too - you get the picture?
Yes it is disgusting but if my mother was in hospital I would take her jewellery and valuables home, they are not needed in hospital. We need to make our minds up as to whether we want nursing staff to care for patients or to police people`s handbags or to question every visitor who comes on the ward as to whether they have a criminal record. Ill patients may not be able to mind their belongings very well but their offspring certainly can take some responsibility. Why let your relative have gold or as one person said £50 in a wallet? Why don`t you ask the staff to lock them away if it is too difficult to take it home on their behalf? Let me just say that there are many drug users who spend time in hospital and they have many visitors too - you get the picture? inthesticks
  • Score: 0

10:25pm Wed 22 Jan 14

okidoki says...

inthesticks wrote:
Yes it is disgusting but if my mother was in hospital I would take her jewellery and valuables home, they are not needed in hospital.
We need to make our minds up as to whether we want nursing staff to care for patients or to police people`s handbags or to question every visitor who comes on the ward as to whether they have a criminal record.
Ill patients may not be able to mind their belongings very well but their offspring certainly can take some responsibility.
Why let your relative have gold or as one person said £50 in a wallet? Why don`t you ask the staff to lock them away if it is too difficult to take it home on their behalf?
Let me just say that there are many drug users who spend time in hospital and they have many visitors too - you get the picture?
You are pathetic............
...................a
nd have OBVIOUSLY never been in a situation like this family eh!!!!!! Your probably employed by the NHS!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]inthesticks[/bold] wrote: Yes it is disgusting but if my mother was in hospital I would take her jewellery and valuables home, they are not needed in hospital. We need to make our minds up as to whether we want nursing staff to care for patients or to police people`s handbags or to question every visitor who comes on the ward as to whether they have a criminal record. Ill patients may not be able to mind their belongings very well but their offspring certainly can take some responsibility. Why let your relative have gold or as one person said £50 in a wallet? Why don`t you ask the staff to lock them away if it is too difficult to take it home on their behalf? Let me just say that there are many drug users who spend time in hospital and they have many visitors too - you get the picture?[/p][/quote]You are pathetic............ ...................a nd have OBVIOUSLY never been in a situation like this family eh!!!!!! Your probably employed by the NHS!!!!!! okidoki
  • Score: 1

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