AN NHS worker who looks after Covid patients at Basingstoke hospital had her bike stolen twice, forcing her to walk 45 minutes to get home after spending hours on her feet.

Amee Brady had her bike locked up in a cage at Basingstoke hospital, but said it has been unsecure for a while, something she has reported to her work but which has not been fixed.

She finished a night shift on April 24 and was leaving to go home when she found her bike missing.

The mother-of-one from Buckskin said: “I finished my night shift at 7am and have gone to the cage and it’s not there. I had a health care assistant sticker on it and they still took it.”

Basingstoke Gazette:

The 41-year-old suffered the same a year ago when her bike was stolen from the hospital while she was working.

Thankfully, on that occasion she managed to get it back after her son posted an appeal on Facebook.

But this time no one has come forward with any information and her bike is still missing.

“I had worked three nights in a row so was really tired,” said Amee, adding: “I walked home to Buckskin which is about 45 minutes’ walk but it feels like miles when you’re so tired. I thought ‘not again’.”

Amee said she cannot afford a new bike, after struggling financially during the Covid pandemic.

She works on a zero hours’ contract and last year discovered she had kidney problems, which made her clinically vulnerable.

However, the grandmother was too scared to tell her employers for fear that she may not be entitled to any help if she could not work.

The healthcare assistant continued to go to work to care for Covid patients, before deciding to take some time off in December and January following a stay in hospital.

However, when she tried to claim universal credit Amee found she was only eligible to £480 a month which did not cover her rent and living costs.

Feeling like she had no choice but return to work, Amee has been back at the hospital since February but now has no idea how she will replace her stolen bike.

“My mum didn’t want me to work because I was vulnerable, but I was also vulnerable if I don’t work and don’t get paid,” she told the Gazette, “I felt let down by the system.”

Amee is also frustrated that the hospital has not fixed the bike cage and feels the trust should be held responsible for the theft.

She added: “I don’t like to claim from the NHS but I feel like I deserve some sort of compensation and for them to ask if there is anything they can do to help me. I feel a bit disheartened that no one higher up has done anything.

“I don’t know what to do other than buying my own bike but do I put it back in the cage for it to be stolen again?”

A colleague of Amee’s who was touched by her story decided to set up a fundraising page to buy her a new bike.

Clare Williams, who also works at Basingstoke hospital, read about Amee’s story on the trust’s Facebook page and said: “She works nights on the wards, helping some of our most vulnerable patients at various times - those at the end of their life, those in palliative care, the elderly and dementia patients. Her kindness, dedication and selflessness are well-known in the nursing teams she works with.

“She’s truly a dedicated member of the team and goes the extra mile every day. She’s lost her glasses a few times when patients have lashed out, never complains, and treats them all with kindness and dignity.

“Aimee lives on the other side of Basingstoke from the hospital and at the end of a 12-hour night shift, summons up the last of her energy and cycles the long miles home.

"You can imagine the frustration then, when she returned to the bike shed a couple of months ago, as she worked on tirelessly every night at the height of the pandemic, to find her bike stolen. It even had a big orange sticker on it, saying she’s a Healthcare assistant.

“And her double frustration last week when the replacement bike she had been forced to buy was stolen again.

“Thieves often strike late at night at the hospital because they are relatively undisturbed and our struggling NHS can’t afford CCTV everywhere. It takes a particular kind of thief to knowingly target NHS workers at this time, but they are out there, sadly.”

A Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: “We are aware of Amee’s bike having been stolen during a shift at our hospital in Basingstoke and are working with the police to investigate the incident.

"We will actively support Amee through this process.

"Although possessions are left at the owner’s risk, we are continually looking at ways to improve the secure facilities offered to our workforce and are examining if there are any lessons we can learn from this case.”

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