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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 April, 2005, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Cancer service threat from thefts
Christie Hospital in Greater Manchester - copyright VT Freeze Frame
Two of the computers stolen from Christie Hospital were brand new
A Manchester cancer hospital says its radiotherapy service is being put under threat by a spate of computer thefts.

Eight computers used for patient treatment have been stolen during the past 10 days from the radiotherapy department at Christie Hospital.

A spokeswoman said the service, which treats 400 patients a day, could not continue if more computers were stolen.

Police said they were investigating the thefts, which have occurred while building work has been taking place.

Specialist computers

Karen Smith, the hospital's radiotherapy department manager, said: "The thieves are putting our service at risk and taking thousands of pounds away from this hospital.

"The thieves need to think about who they are stealing from. We are a cancer hospital treating very sick patients and the patients are the victims from these thefts. They ultimately suffer.

No patient information is kept on any of the stolen computers
Karen Smith, Radiotherapy Department Manager, Christie Hospital

"All our staff are working extremely hard to keep the service going but we simply can't take any more thefts."

She said the police had been notified and that a security firm was going to be put in place until the building work was finished.

"The eight computers - two of which are brand new - are used to programme radiotherapy treatment machines, book and schedule patient treatments, verify patients treatments, and for research," she added.

"No patient information is kept on any of the stolen computers.

"Three of the computers stolen are so specialist it will take up to two weeks to have them delivered and installed."

The hospital said one of the computers was worth more than 50,000.

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