Monday, 18 June 2012

NHS thefts: Costing money & lives?

I was today disgusted to read an article on the Hull Daily Mail website regarding the theft of equipment taken from ambulances whilst paramedics were treating patients.

The article states that from May 2011 to May 2012, equipment was stolen costing the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust £13,000 to replace. Stolen items include sat navs & mobile phones. 

When a sat nav is stolen from an ambulance, that vehicle is then taken off the road until a new one has been fitted. Something that costs not only the NHS, but peoples lives. What kind of person sees an ambulance parked on the street attending a call out & sees it as the perfect opportunity to steal equipment? Although sat navs may seem like pointless items, they are often key to ensuring ambulances meet response times & reach their patients.

Those few minutes spent by ambulance crews not knowing their way to a patients home could be so crucial in many circumstances. It is also a problem when ambulance radio systems are stolen, causing paramedics to lose communication with their hospital. Patient care is put at risk when items are taken which delay & prevent paramedics from doing there jobs. It's even worse to see that some of the equipment has been stolen from the vehicles when they're parked outside of their hospitals Accident & Emergency department.

With NHS cutbacks and more strain being placed on the service than ever before, it's the small things like the crimes listed above that could save thousands of pounds which could be spent on saving lives and patient care. 

What morals must these people have to steal from a service so necessary to ensuring people get the medical attention they need? So many countries fail to have free services such as these yet people in England will steal from them purely to gain a radio, sat nav or mobile phone.

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