The theft of hundreds of pounds from the bedside of a cancer patient in Lewisham hospital it being investigated by police.
Valerie White, 60, from New Cross, was in bed in a room at University Hospital Lewisham when £350 was swiped from her handbag.
The cancer patient, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy, believes the cash was stolen from her purse by a man who said he was there to check locks.
White’s son, David Buchanan, said: “She was mugged helpless at her bedside. She heard a nurse say, ‘Who are you?’ to the man who said he needed to check the locks.”
He also said: “Mum says the person entered while she was awake. He told her he was there to check the locks and he had gone down the side of her bed where her purse was. She thought nothing of it at the time. The next day she went to get money out to get a magazine and it was gone.”
Buchanan has contacted the police and filled out a complaint against the hospital.
He added: “We don’t care about the money but this is about patient safety in such a crime-filled area. We want to raise concern so this doesn’t happen to anyone else. The only visitors have been me and my two brothers and that is out of the question. This has added stress to my mum. I am just worried that this happened.”
A Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust spokesperson said: “A member of our security team was called to a ward on November 22 after a patient reported that money had been stolen from her purse two or three days before. This matter is now in the hands of the police so we cannot comment further. However, we are also investigating the incident ourselves as we do take security extremely seriously.”
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Police were called at around 12:21hrs on November 22 to reports of a theft at Lewisham Hospital. Officers attended and spoke to a man who said a quantity of cash had been stolen from his mother’s locker. The theft is believed to have taken place between 9:00hrs and 10:00hrs that day.”