Hospitals up-and-down the country are reporting that bottles of hand sanitiser are being stolen from their wards, leaving their vulnerable patients at risk from the spread of disease.
Following the spate of panic buying last week, most supermarkets have run out of bottles of hand sanitiser.
But the knock-on effect of this has been that people have started to steal hand sanitiser from hospitals rather than just relying on washing their hands before touching their mouth, nose or eyes.
A spokesperson for the Chesterfield Royal Hospital said:
“We’re really disappointed to have to make this announcement, but like other hospitals across the country, we’re now seeing supplies of hand sanitisers and gels disappearing from our wards, departments and services.
“A quick walk around this morning reveals that bottles like this one (pictured) have been taken from our A&E, out-patient clinics, welcome desks, receptions, tables, corridor dispensers and even from patients’ bedsides.
“These products are designed to keep our staff, patients and visitors safe in hospital.
“Along with the best hand hygiene option – washing them with soap and water – they are a vital additional measure to prevent infection spread across our environments.
“With supplies now low in the hospital – and nationally – the actions of a few people could be putting vulnerable people at risk.
“We’re working hard to make sure we can care for people properly – please respect our staff and patients by making sure we have the ability to keep them safe”.
While stock levels in most supermarkets have disappeared, anyone wishing to purchase hand sanitiser can still do so online.
Most supermarkets are expecting their levels of hand sanitiser stock to be replenished over the next few days.
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