Thieves break window of pharmacist's car to steal hand gel

A GP has slammed ‘selfish’ thieves who smashed a health worker’s car window forcing them to miss work – all to steal one bottle of hand sanitiser.

Doctors, nurses and health professionals are working flat out to treat patients suffering from coronavirus as the disease piles unprecedented pressure on the NHS.

Across the UK, hundreds of thousands of people clapped from their windows and front doors at 8pm yesterday in an emotional show of support for these vital workers.

But an Oldham GP has revealed that the callous actions of others pulled a key general practice worker away from their job at the most crucial time. 

Dr Zahid Chauhan, who is also Oldham council’s cabinet member in charge of health, said he was ‘disgusted’ that the clinical pharmacist at his surgery in Royton had to miss work after their car was broken into.

Clinical pharmacists participate in direct patient care in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, providing medication reviews for patients with ongoing health problems and improving patient safety.

While the car was parked outside the pharmacist’s home in Rochdale, the rear right back window was smashed – but all that was taken was a single bottle of hand gel.

Coun Chauhan said: “This kind of crime, that’s not what we are expecting from the general public while we try and save your life – we need people to be supportive, which the majority have been.

“It could be someone who is about to save yourself or your family’s life and you are taking them away from the frontline by your selfish act. He had to take time off work to get it fixed. And it’s very distressing for him, when something like that happens you don’t feel safe.”

Coun Chauhan added that NHS staff are working ‘day and night’ to help patients, and they are also now having to worry that they may be targeted by thieves looking to steal medical supplies. 

“Healthcare professionals are needing to be cautious now about what they are leaving in their cars, on top of everything they are having to worry about their personal belongings’ safety,” he said.

“Healthcare workers are all under extreme pressure because of coronavirus. It’s not business as normal. But we do it and we take the risk to save other people’s lives. While people are putting themselves at risk we would want people to be a bit more courteous.”

The break-in and criminal damage, which occurred on March 21, has been reported to GMP.

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