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Unsafe storage: how nurses struggle to keep valuables secure

Hospital workplaces that lack secure lockers or cycle storage mean nurses feel forced to carry their valuables around, or fall victim to thieves
Broken lockers are among storage problems nurses face at work

Hospital workplaces that lack secure lockers or cycle storage mean nurses feel forced to carry their valuables around, or fall victim to thieves

Stolen belongings, broken staff lockers, or no lockers at all are some of the issues facing nurses who need to store valuables at work.

Nurses have told Nursing Standard that despite having workplace storage, some have been told to keep valuable items with them because of risk of theft.

What survey of hospital staff revealed

A survey by De Montfort University and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust found hospital staff want better storage facilities at work.

Of the 1,277 survey respondents, 13% said they would like to see storage on wards.

Hospital workplaces that lack secure lockers or cycle storage mean nurses feel forced to carry their valuables around, or fall victim to thieves

Broken lockers are among storage problems nurses face at work
Picture: iStock

Stolen belongings, broken staff lockers, or no lockers at all are some of the issues facing nurses who need to store valuables at work.

Nurses have told Nursing Standard that despite having workplace storage, some have been told to keep valuable items with them because of risk of theft.

What survey of hospital staff revealed

A survey by De Montfort University and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust found hospital staff want better storage facilities at work.

Of the 1,277 survey respondents, 13% said they would like to see storage on wards. Many said they wanted improvements to changing rooms and cycle storage.

Warnings about thefts from bags left in staff-only areas

Staff nurse Brian Webster told Nursing Standard his workplace has put up signs in the changing room reading: ‘Please beware bags have been opened and please don’t leave valuables here.’

While there are lockers, there are not enough for every member of staff, he said, adding he carries his phone and money with him while he works.

Mr Webster said staff are the only people with access to the locker room – so knowing someone has rummaged through bags had left him feeling demoralised.

Secure bicycle storage

Staff nurse Jennie Rutherford said her employer has taken steps to improve bicycle storage after a spate of thefts. Instead of having outdoor cycle racks staff now have indoor storage, and the trust advises them on the type of lock to buy.

However, she said storage inside the hospital still needs improvement.

‘In our changing room, some lockers have broken doors. No one seems to know who has ownership to have them fixed,’ she said.


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