Screaming inevitably the piles of legs, arms and whatever, the newspapers report two burglars arrested after breaking into the HES site at Longbenton, North Tyneside.
Adding to the shock horror of this news, it is noted that the burglars had to be decontaminated after their arrest. HES are surely innocent in this case, as the Crown Court in Newcastle was told that the site was monitored using CCTV by Orbis Security, though perhaps security was lacking if these two idiots could break though one of the locked shutters.
They entered the site not once but twice, on successive days, looking for and helping themselves to prescription medicines waste.
It is important that this is not ascribed to HES-related issues, as it is another manifestation of the on-going pilfering of prescription only medicines from hospitals. This can include an occasional addicted employee theft or, more commonly, theft from bulk waste carts on hospital premises. Since not infrequently these waste carts are left unlocked, if indeed they have a working lid lock, and wheeled into a far corner of the hospital car park far from any pretence of security.
This is an old problem that was worse in the 80s and 90s but has not gone away. Hospitals and waste contractors must ensure security of wastes at all times, taking steps to make this pilfering ever less likely if not impossible. Likewise, regulators and law enforcement must acknowledge and address this problem, providing support and guidance for waste producers and contractors. But don’t hold your breath for that to happen.