Metropolitan police called witnesses after thousands of books of essential medical and computer equipment were stolen from Great Ormond Street. Staff of the world-renowned hospital discovered on Monday morning that a number of offices had been targeted during the weekend break-in. While preparing to fight the global pandemic, the burglary puts even more pressure on already overworked doctors and nurses.
The staff area of the North London hospital is home to many specialist teams who have been reassigned to help deal with an influx of patients as COVID-19 spreads across the capital.
The bosses were forced to cancel dozens of non-emergency appointments and limit hospital visits in order to slow the transmission of the disease.
CEO Mat Shaw announced yesterday that only one caregiver would be allowed to visit patients throughout their stay on Great Ormond Street.
A spokesperson for Great Ormond Street said: “The safety of our personnel and property is of the utmost importance to us and we are liaising with the Metropolitan Police regarding this incident.
“We reminded staff of the personal safety tips necessary to help maintain safety in the hospital and to take extra care with their belongings.”
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Calling witnesses, a spokeswoman for the metropolitan police said: “A burglary was reported to the police around 8:45 am on Monday, March 23.
“The incident happened in a staff area of a hospital in north London. A number of electrical items were stolen, including laptops and a cell phone.
“Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 101.”
This is due to the fact that healthcare workers were advised to withdraw their NHS identifications after reporting a series of attacks.
Staff at Great Ormond Street, University College London Hospital and Royal Free have been warned that they may be targeted for identification by criminals seeking to take advantage of the special windows reserved for NHS staff in supermarkets .
Earlier this week, the Met said it had received no official reports, but promised to investigate if people released information.
The Healthy London Partnership, which works with the NHS, London councils and Public Health England, has warned staff to be “very vigilant” on the way to work.
In an email, the bosses said, “Unfortunately we hear reports from the Met that some NHS staff are being assaulted for their passes and lanyards.
“Be very careful when using your passes and show your lanyards, and be careful.”
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Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of volunteer applications were inundated to support the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.
More than 400,000 people have pledged their support to be part of a national effort to help 1.5 million vulnerable people who have been asked not to leave their homes for 12 weeks.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “I want to especially thank everyone who has volunteered to help the NHS.
“When we launched the call last night, we hoped to get 250,000 volunteers in a few days. But I can tell you that in just 24 hours, 405,000 people answered the call.
“They will drive the drugs from the pharmacies to the patients, they will bring the patients back from the hospital, which is very important, they will make regular phone calls to check and support people who are left alone at home.”