SECURITY around Sunnyside Hospital has been beefed up following the move of its services to new facilities at Stracathro.
Buildings around the sprawling site have been targeted by thieves over the last two years, with several high value thefts running into tens of thousands of pounds.
In October, £10,000 worth of copper was stolen from the old laundry building in and a quantity of lead flashing and a copper boiler were also taken.
NHS Tayside’s asset manager George Nixon this week told the Review that the site’s security is assessed on a continuing basis. Measures have already been put in place to make life more difficult for potential thieves including the employment of a private security firm and the installation of new security systems to safeguard the buildings.
He said: “NHS Tayside has been working closely with Angus Council and Tayside Police to implement a whole host of security measures at the Sunnyside site.
“The number of access points on to the site has been reduced from five to two, with boulders placed on main approach roads as an economical and effective way of preventing vehicular access.
“Camera and infra-red systems are being installed on site, the latter detecting any movement in and around the buildings.”
Mr Nixon also said that access to windows and airducts is being restricted, doors have been reinforced to make them more secure and security patrols are carried out round the clock.
He added: “We’re continually working to reduce the number of incidents of thefts across all NHS Tayside premises and support the national Health Facilities Scotland campaign that helps health boards manage security at NHS facilities across the country.”
The improvements have been welcomed by members of the Hillside community who have also been doing their part to keep a close eye on the site and Hillside Community Council chairwoman Kathleen Ritchie said the biggest deterrent to thieves would be to market the site for development as quickly as possible.
A development brief has already been drawn up and the site included in the Angus Local Plan with space for 320 homes, 130 from the re-use of buildings and 190 new-build.
She said: “I think NHS Tayside has done very well and they are trying their best, although some thieves seem to get around any barrier, no matter what’s put up.
“There are some resident who walk around the grounds and keep and eye on the place, as I do myself, but I just hope the health board will market it quickly. Ideally we’d be looking for a single developer to develop it all.”