Call for stricter security at hospital

Sunnyside Hospital - three high value thefts have occurred on the site over the last 18 months.
Sunnyside Hospital - three high value thefts have occurred on the site over the last 18 months.

There have been further calls for NHS Tayside to tighten security at Sunnyside Hospital after the site’s third high value theft in 18 months.

The two copper tanks and piping - worth around £10,000 - were taken from one of the site’s old laundry between 2.30pm on Friday, September 30 and 9.45pm last Wednesday, October 5.

A Tayside Police spokesman said that, given the size of the stolen items, a large vehicle would have been needed to remove them.

It also emerged this week that lead flashing and a copper boiler were stolen from the hospital. The theft is thought to have happened between 6pm on Monday, September 19 and 7.45am the following day.

Local councillor David May said the health authority “must take action and quickly” to try to prevent further loss of assets.

He said: “I’m disappointed to hear this and it was only last week I made contact with some of the council’s officers to find out who I should contact at the NHS about it because I do have concerns over the security of the site. It’s a huge concern”

Buildings around the site have been hit by thieves on several occasions and last November one ton copper water tank was taken from one while three months before more than two tons of copper piping, worth around £8,000, were taken from the empty Carnegie Clinic building. The health authority was criticised at the time when it emerged that the theft was undiscovered for two months and the items could have been taken any time between the beginning of June and the start of August.

Mr May said there is further concern as the hospital facilities are due to be moved to a new site at Stracathro over the next two months.

He said: “Once everyone moves out the buildings will be very vulnerable to these things and I want to discuss with someone at NHS Tayside what they’re doing and what they’re planning to do about security. The fact this has happened again suggests that more needs to be done. It’s vital that action is taken now and NHS Tayside must take action and quickly.”

A spokeswoman for the health board this week confirmed the theft. She added that staff had been working in the building last Tuesday and had missed the items when they arrived next morning.

She also said that action has already been taken to improve security.

She said: “Although the site is due to be decommissioned in the next couple of months, we have put in place a number of security measures to prevent access to the building including blocking off roadways, erecting fences around the site, installing security lighting and boarding up windows.”

Anyone with information about the thefts can contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222.