§ Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the annual amount of theft from National Health Service hospitals; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Whitney
Returns from health authorities do not isolate losses from hospitals due to theft. Losses of cash and stores from health authorities due to theft, fraud or other culpable causes, recorded in the summarised accounts for the 1984–85 financial year, were 1.04 million.
It is essential that Health Service managers take cost-effective measures to minimise losses of Health Service goods from what ever source. This is why the Department asked all health authorities to draw up security strategies, which they have now done, and to introduce better control procedures. The National Health Service security manual, prepared by the National Association of Health Authorities, gives practical advice on action to prevent losses.