TWO brothers are furious after their mother’s purse was taken from her hospital bedside just hours before she died.
Shirley Sellwood, 79, of Gosport, died at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham after a major blood clot burst. When her sons Simon and Andy went to collect her belongings they said her purse containing £200 in cash had been stolen.
Simon, 44, of Pavilion Way, Gosport, said: ‘It’s disgusting. Going through someone’s belongings while they’re passing away is disgusting.
‘It needs more investigating, it needs more people to come forward about what’s happened and get them shamed and to pay back what’s been taken.’
The pair received a phone call from the hospital in the early hours of last Sunday telling them their mother died at about 11.45pm on Saturday.
They went to the hospital to pick up her belongings, only to find her purse was not there. Hampshire police are investigating.
Andy, 46, also of Gosport, said: ‘I checked her belongings and the purse wasn’t there and I phoned the police.
‘I was quite upset, what with everything else. I don’t know how anyone could take a dying woman’s purse.
‘It’s awful, it’s absolutely terrible. My brother and myself are sorting out enough stuff. To take a dying woman’s purse is awful.’
He added he was told by hospital staff that belongings have been stolen from patients before.
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA hospital, said it cannot comment as Hampshire police are investigating.
Mrs Sellwood suffered a heart attack 50 years ago and had been in and out of hospital many times. She was admitted around 10 days before she died. She had a large blood clot and surgeons could not operate on her because of fears of her not surviving an anaesthetic, Andy said.
He added: ‘She was admitted about two weeks ago and went downhill.’
She was in the surgical assessment unit when the pair last saw her on Saturday and the purse was in her bag on the windowsill.
When they went to collect her belongings she had been moved to D7 ward.
Andy said he at first thought the purse could have been lost but now believes it was stolen as it has not turned up.
Simon Haill, manager of patient support group Healthwatch Portsmouth said: ‘Any crime, particularly with vulnerable people, is highly regrettable.’
A police officer is due to speak to the family on Monday.