THEFTS from hospital staff - while they were at work helping patients - have been greeted by a chorus of criticism.

News that hospital staff had been targeted – with car keys and purses taken while they were busy treating patients - was met with horror by local councillors.

Police officers in Worcester are appealing for information after the thefts in which ward offices and staff areas at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital were raided on March 3.

Councillor Lucy Hodgson, representing Warndon Parish South on the city council, where the hospital is based, called the incident “very sad” and “something you just don’t do.”

Cllr Alan Feeney, Warndon North, said he was “absolutely appalled.”

Cllr Stephen Hodgson, Warndon North, described the thefts as “despicable and akin to stealing charity collection boxes from a pub.”

A statement from West Mercia Police said the potential suspect has been seen on CCTV to “interact with” a silver Land Rover Freelander, “possibly passing the stolen items to the occupants of the vehicle.”

Speaking to the Worcester News, investigating officer PC Richard Foxall said: “We would like everyone to be aware that there are members of our society who will stoop so low as to steal within the hospital from NHS staff who are busy helping others.

“We would encourage anyone who sees this vehicle acting suspiciously to get in touch to help us bring those involved to justice.”

Cllr Hodgson, who lives on nearby Brecon Avenue, urged people to help police with their investigation.

She said: “These are hard-working people in the hospital who will have been deeply affected.

“I hope the hospital are supporting the staff through this, which I am sure they will be.”

Cllr Feeney added: “A hospital is the one place where people should feel safe and secure – a place where life and property are protected.

“It takes an especially low human being to brazenly walk in and steal from those trying to save lives. I hope that the perpetrator is quickly apprehended and faces the full penalty of law.”

Anyone who has seen a similar vehicle, or anyone behaving suspiciously can call police on 101, quoting 0618S 030318, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.