THE father of a nine-year-old girl whose mobile phone was stolen from her hospital bedside has moved her to another hospital for her safety.
Chloe Challoner was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – a form of bone cancer – last September.
She is being treated at both Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, and Southampton General Hospital, and in the past six months has only been at home for two weeks.
To make sure Chloe could contact her family she was given a mobile phone for Christmas by her grandma.
But the phone, which contains pictures of her younger brother and sister, was stolen from her private room in the Starfish Ward at QA Hospital.
Her father Jamie Giblen, 31, of Rooksbury Croft, Havant, has been left so appalled by the act that he has moved Chloe to the Southampton hospital, until the culprit is caught.
The IT specialist said: ‘It sickens me that someone has done this.
‘The phone is Chloe’s lifeline, it has pictures of her younger brother and sister, and meant she could talk to us whenever she wanted.
‘She’s my first-born and I want to make sure she’s safe, so that’s why I’ve moved her to Southampton.
‘I don’t want her staying in QA until they find out who did this.’
Hampshire Police believe the phone – a white Sony Walkman handset with pink keys – was taken between 10.40am and 11.15am on Wednesday, March 2.
‘I had taken Chloe to the canteen with my father-in-law on the day it happened,’ added Mr Giblen.
‘When we got back to the room we noticed the bed had been made and the room tided, but didn’t notice the phone had gone.
‘It was only later when we called her and she didn’t pick up that we thought something was wrong.
‘My wife called the phone the next morning and somebody picked up and then put it back down.
‘I sent a text explaining the situation and asked for it to be returned. I got a message to say “OK”, but nothing has happened since then.’
A spokesman for Portsmouth NHS Hospitals Trust said: ‘Patients’ care, their experience and their safety are and have always been the highest priorities for the trust and we are disappointed a mobile phone has been stolen from within our Paediatric Unit.
‘This is fortunately a rare occurrence and we are working closely with the police, supporting their investigation.
‘We recognise the dissatisfaction of the patient’s family in this instance, but we continue to reassure that our Paediatric Unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital is safeguarded by an authorised-only security entrance which is regularly patrolled by our on-site security teams.
‘We would appeal to anyone with information about this incident to contact the police.’
Anyone with information should call Nigel Dowland at Fratton Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.