Welwyn Garden City grandad's jewellery stolen in hospital

A GRANDAD had his gold cross and chain stolen from around his neck while he slept in a hospital bed. Staff at the QE2 Hospital had already lost 77-year-old Steve Spreadbury's wedding ring while he was being X-rayed. But the next day his family discovered,

A GRANDAD had his gold cross and chain stolen from around his neck while he slept in a hospital bed.

Staff at the QE2 Hospital had already lost 77-year-old Steve Spreadbury's wedding ring while he was being X-rayed.

But the next day his family discovered, to their anger, the grandad-of-four's chain had gone missing.

The distinctive gold necklace is a match with that of his wife of 54 years, Joan.


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Mr Spreadbury, of the Haldens area of WGC, was admitted to hospital on Friday, March 13 suffering from heart failure and dementia.

Director of nursing Sue Greenslade said: "We are, of course, sorry for any upset caused to Mr Spreadbury and his family.

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"This whole issue, however, underlines the importance of our general advice to patients and their families/carers that they should not bring valuables in to hospital.

"If this is not possible, we do encourage they are taken home following a patient's admission.

"Our wards are busy places where such items can go missing where people are not in a fit state to look after them themselves."

But Mr Spreadbury's daughter Sue fumed: "The hospital's response is an absolute disgrace.

"My father was unconscious and fighting for his life when he was admitted and no-one asked us to remove any valuables from him.

"My father had not been without his wedding ring for 54 years and his cross and chain are a symbol of his faith. Why should these be removed?

"No-one would expect these to be stolen from a very sick and vulnerable man."

Mr Spreadbury was a staunch campaigner for the QE2's survival, even joining hundreds of others at MP Grant Shapps' protest rally in the summer of 2007.

Mr Shapps said: "It's concerning to think criminal activity can take place in a hospital which we would all regard as a safe haven.

"While it's good advice to remove valuable items before going into hospital, in an emergency situation that's clearly an impractical thing to ask.

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