WARRINGTON Hospital has warned patients to be careful with their valuables after an 81-year-old woman had money stolen from her purse.

The pensioner had £40 stolen from her purse while she spent a week in the Lovely Lane hospital with an infection.

Her granddaughter noticed the missing cash when she went to check the woman’s lottery tickets.

She said: “Her purse had been opened and not closed properly but my nan hadn’t been in it – we looked everywhere for the money but we couldn’t find anything.

“My nan said she’s not bothered about the money and is more upset that it has gone and she feels a bit unnerved about being there now.

“You don’t expect something to go missing in a place like that where you’re supposed to be safe.

“It’s unnerving and there are a lot of people it could happen to and they wouldn’t notice – it could happen to a lot of older people.”

It is thought that the thief struck while the woman, who had a hospital room to herself, went to the toilet.

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust warned patients to be mindful of the possessions that they bring in to the hospital when admitted.

A spokesperson for Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are sorry to hear about the alleged disappearance of the patient’s mony while in our care.

“Once the family notified the ward, trust protocol was activated and our security team have looked into the case.

“We do advise patients and their families when being admitted to a ward that wherever possible valuables should not be brought with them as we can’t take responsibility for personal belongings.

“Valuables should either be handed over to family for safekeeping or ward staff who will place it in the ward safe or cash office.”

Cheshire Police confirmed it is investigating the theft, which took place at some point between 7pm on Wednesday, March 2 and 3.15pm on Thursday, March 3.