A PENSIONER has been devastated by the theft of £150 money from her purse as she lay recovering in hospital, following a catalogue of medical problems.

Doreen Temporal, 64, was admitted to the Univesity Hospital of North Durham before Christmas with a lung infection and had to undergo a further operation for a broken hip, suffered when she went to the toilet.

She claims the money was stolen from her purse as she was recovering at the Chester-le-Street Community Hospital.

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Mrs Temporal of Bowburn, near Durham City, said: “I just could not believe it when I discovered the money was gone.

“I was shocked that something like this could happen, especially when I was supposed to have been cared for at the time. I was really upset by it.”

Husband William Temporal said, the money included £100 of her pension, as well as £50 he had given her for her birthday.

He said: “The money was in her purse, zipped up in her bag which was in a locker, so whoever took it had to go looking for it.

“The hospital told me after it had happened that they had safe and the money should have been kept there.

“We should have been told that before. If is a hospital policy, it should be made clear to everyone.

“Hopefully by publicising this, we can prevent it happening to anyone else.”

A spokesman for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: “The trust was extremely sorry to hear about this incident and for the distress caused to Mrs Temporal.

“The matter has been reported to the police and while the investigation is ongoing it would not be appropriate for the trust to comment further.”