Man claims hospital staff ‘stole’ £200 cash and threatened him with being sectioned

A 72-year-old man has claimed hospital staff “stole” £200 cash from him and lost all his other belongings during a two-and-a half-week stay in January this year.

Stephen Shaw, from Thorpe Close, New Addington, said hospital staff at Croydon University Hospital, in London Road, Thornton Heath, “threatened” him with being sectioned after he tried to call the police about the suspected theft.

Mr Shaw was taken to hospital by ambulance crews on January 20, due to severe bleeding caused by heamorrhoids.

He said: “The bleeding was really bad. I didn’t have time to think about what I was going to leave behind. I just took my keys and my money.

“I didn’t want to leave all that money at home. I didn’t know how long I’d be kept in.”

When Mr Shaw arrived at hospital, he said a staff member sat with him to count out the money and then took his belongings – his clothes, money and keys with his late wife’s wedding ring – to be stored. 

Croydon Hospital confirmed it compensated Mr Shaw for the £200 earlier this week, but has denied responsibility for the missing items which have been logged as “lost property”.

He said: “That is a lot of money for me. I don’t have money to throw away. I rely on that to support me and it was stolen by a hospital. It’s outrageous.

“When I tried to call the police they said I was crazy and they would section me. It was disgusting. Thank God my brother turned up.”

Mr Shaw called his brother, Peter Shaw, 61, from Canberra Road, Charlton, on February 8, asking to be picked up from hospital.

Peter Shaw searched the hospital for his brothers belongings (Picture: Peter Shaw)

Peter said: “When I arrived he was in a bad way because of the way they were talking to him – like rubbish.

“They were saying they wanted to section him. This is my brother. I know there’s nothing wrong with him, he just wanted to get out.”

Peter said he asked the hospital staff where his brother’s belongings were.

He said: “They told me it was all locked up somewhere. But when I said I wanted to collect them they were just ignoring me.

“I walked around every ward to try and sort it out.”

When he still could not find any of his brothers missing belongings, Peter said he asked the matron.

He said: “She showed me the computer with all the items logged – clothes, money, all of it.

“I felt terrible. They must have stolen it. Neither of us want to go to a hospital again – we don’t trust them anymore.”

A spokesman from Croydon Health Service said: “We are sorry to learn that Mr Shaw has suffered a loss of his property whilst a patient with us. Our records indicate upon admission, Mr Shaw held a number of personal items and was invited to pass his belongings to the nursing staff for safekeeping, but decided to keep them himself. 

Should a patient choose to retain their belongings, the Trust cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage but, following receipt of a lost property form, we have reimbursed him for the loss as a gesture of goodwill.”

Pictured top: Stephen Shaw, who says staff at Croydon University hospital “stole” £200 in January (Picture: Google Street View, Stephen Shaw)

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