A healthcare assistant was kidnapped and killed. Covid patient’s credit card was used to purchase fizzy drinks.
In a “abhorrent violation of trust,” a healthcare aide stole a bank card from an elderly patient who had just died from Covid and used it to buy chocolates and fizzy drinks from a hospital vending machine, according to authorities.
After the 83-year-old woman died on January 24 at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham, Ayesha Basharat took her card.
Basharat used the card to make six £1 transactions using the vending machine’s contactless touchpad just 17 minutes after the patient died, according to a doctor.
The 23-year-old spent another £1 that evening before returning to work four days later and trying it again.
The card had been cancelled at that time, and she was detained while working on Ward One.
Her use of the vending machine was captured on hospital CCTV.
Basharat, of Farm Road, Birmingham, first said she found the bank card on the floor and got it “muddled up” with her own card when paying, according to West Midlands Police.
However, the cards were of different colors, and Birmingham Crown Court heard that she had disobeyed hospital policy about lost property.
Basharat pleaded guilty to theft and fraud by false representation and was sentenced to five months in prison on Wednesday, with an 18-month suspension, according to police.
“This was an appalling violation of trust and distressing for the victim’s family,” Detective Constable Andrew Snowdon said.
“They were dealing with the loss of a loved one from Covid when they discovered the bank card had gone missing – and then the realization that the card had been taken by someone who was supposed to be caring for her.”
Mr Snowdon expressed gratitude to medical officials for their assistance in the probe and expressed hope that the victim’s family could now move on from the “upsetting experience.”
According to a representative for the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, the healthcare assistant was immediately suspended and will now face disciplinary action.
“We would like to express our condolences to the patient’s family and genuinely apologize for their ordeal; this incident is disgraceful,” he added. (This is a brief piece.)