Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Jail for man who stole medical equipment

A 39-year-old Kilwinning man has been jailed for four years after pleading guilty to stealing £1.3m of medical equipment.

Daniel Dreghorn (pictured) had been employed at the decontamination unit within Ayrshire Central Hospital in Irvine, which gave him access to highly-technical and expensive medical devices used in theatres and clinics.  Over a two-year period, Dreghorn stole 136 items, including paediatric telescopes, cystoscopes and other devices needed by patients requiring urgent medical care.

The Kilwinning man stored the equipment at his home before selling them to wholesalers in the UK, USA and Hong Kong.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that each item of medical equipment has a unique identification number, which allows them to be tracked.  During a stock-take at the Ayrshire hospital it became clear that trays carrying items had been scanned back-in after use but not the equipment.  Records showed Dreghorn was the duty Supervisor at the times equipment went missing.

During sentencing today (September 2) Judge Lord Turnbull told Dreghorn, “You pleaded guilty to the theft of a vast quantity of equipment purchased by the taxpayer for the common good.

“You denied to vulnerable patients this vital equipment.  You showed a wholly callous level of indifference,” which affected those “requiring urgent medical care”.

For NHS Ayrshire & Arran, Derek Lindsay, Director of Finance, said controls had been tightened on the health board's computerised tracking system to prevent repeat offences.

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