Personal protection equipment has been stolen from children’s hospitals, the Irish Examiner can reveal.
The National Children’s Hospital Group has admitted “a small portion” of its supplies of latex gloves, face masks, and hand sanitiser has been stolen.
As a result, the hospitals in the group — which includes Temple Street Children’s Hospital — have had to step up security and re-stock.
And they say any thefts by “staff, patients or members of the public” is placing their patients and staff “at risk”.
News of the thefts comes amid other reports of thefts from hospitals around the country.
On Monday, it was reported that boxes of face masks were stolen from St Luke’s Hospital, which is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group.
The group’s hospitals include Tallaght University Hospital Dublin and St James’ Hospital Dublin.
A spokesperson said: “Hospitals across the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group have experienced the removal of small portions of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“St Luke’s Hospital Rathgar has reported their incident to the gardaí.”
The Ireland East Hospital Group has also experienced thefts from its hospitals.
They include St Vincent’s University Hospital Dublin and the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street.
A spokesperson said: “Some hospitals in this hospital group have experienced the removal of a portion of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPV).
All hospitals are restocking supplies and have implemented additional security measures for the secured storage of the equipment.
A spokesperson for Children’s Health Ireland told the Irish Examiner: “CHI has experienced the removal of a small portion of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“This is extremely unfortunate given the vulnerability of the children and young people who attend our services in our hospitals.
“Any unauthorised removal from the hospital by staff, patients or the public, places our patients and our staff at risk.”
The Department of Health advises against members of the public wearing masks and latex gloves, unless they are actually sick.