Hospital patient’s wedding ring and wallet go missing during operation
“DEVASTATED” is the word used by a Warwick father-of-three whose wedding ring went missing while he was undergoing surgery at Warwick Hospital.
And although 60-year-old Roger Cleal, who has been married to his wife Susan for 32 years, has had a claim for insurance validated to enable the couple to buy a new one, he says it will never be the same.
But the hospital, which had not warned the electronics engineer that he would have to remove his wedding ring for the operation until he was about to enter the theatre, has refused to take responsibility for the loss of the ring - or Mr Cleal’s wallet, which also went missing.
Mr Cleal, who lives in Smythe Grove on the Woodloes Estate, was admitted to the Hatton Ward for his operation on September 3.
He said: “The staff nurse told me it would be fine in my bedside locker as they had done this for eight years with no problems. The ring was then put in my leather purse in the bedside locker.
“But the locker was not lockable. People can come and go on the ward without the nurses seeing as the nurses’ station is right at the other end.”
When Mr Cleal returned from his operation a few hours later, the wallet and the ring were gone. He said he raised the issue with nurses immediately, but no security staff from G4S - which is contracted to deliver security at the hospital - came to see him and he was unable to move from his bedside as he was on a drip.
He said: “When I did speak to somebody from G4S, he said it was nothing to do with him. It’s crackers that the security staff on the site did not do a full check of the ward.
“It’s a little tiny ring – anybody could put it in their pocket.”
He added: “Another ring will never be the same. It was blessed in church.
“My wife and I have been married for more than 32 years, and we are both devastated that due to lack of proper care for patients’ property during operations, my wedding ring was stolen which to us is irreplaceable.
“People do need to be notified of the fact that if they do go into Warwick Hospital, they must never go in there with anything valuable.”
Mr Cleal sent a letter of complaint to Glen Burley, chief executive of South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital. Mr Burley said: “I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to Mr Cleal for the loss of his belongings.
“Mr Cleal has raised this issue directly with the trust and as a result the trust has launched an investigation. A formal response will be sent to Mr Cleal directly.”
A trust spokeswoman added that, taking into account Mr Cleal’s assertion that he was not warned to leave his valuables at home, the trust will be reviewing its pre-admission communication with patients.
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