A HOSPITAL worker who stole a dead Covid patient’s bank card to buy crisps 17 minutes after the 83-year-old died has refused to apologise.
Ayesha Basharat, 23, bought snacks from a vending machine after the OAP passed away at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital on January 24.
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The 23-year-old has refused to apologise for using a dead patient’s bank card minutes after they died[/caption]
The healthcare assistant, who was spared jail on Wednesday, is currently suspended from her job and faces being axed permanently.
Today, at the door of her home in the Birmingham suburb of Sparkbrook, an embarrassed looking Basharat refused to say sorry to the OAP’s distraught family.
The convicted woman told The Sun Online: “I don’t want to talk about it, I have nothing to say.”
Asked if she wanted to explain why she had used the stolen bank card, she stayed silent while her taxi driver dad and elder brother supportively stood by her side.
She declined to answer when asked if she was upset at the prospect of losing her job for an action described as “disgraceful” by her hospital.
Basharat admitted theft and fraud by false representation at Birmingham Crown Court on June 9.
But she avoided jail after being sentenced to two five-month terms to run concurrently, both suspended for 18 months.
Basharat using the stolen bank card at a vending machine to buy crisps, sweets and fizzy drinks[/caption]
Her hospital confirmed today that she was still suspended, understood to be without pay, and was set to be sacked.
A spokesperson for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust told The Sun Online: “She was suspended immediately this incident came to light and while the court case was pending.
“Now proceedings have concluded she faces disciplinary action within the next seven to 10 days. Her conviction will be taken into account.
“She faces losing her job for gross misconduct. In disciplinary hearings past or spent convictions would be taken into account on a case by case basis when deciding the outcome but she has an active conviction so it is highly unlikely she could remain in our employment.”
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The spokesperson said she had been employed by the hospital as a “bank member of staff” meaning she was one of a pool of workers who could choose when they wanted to work on the rota.
He told how the hospital had apologised to the woman’s family, saying: “We have formally apologised to them but do not know if she has.
“All steps were taken to support the patient’s family.”
‘ABHORRENT BREACH OF TRUST’
The court heard this week a doctor recorded the OAP’s death at 1.56pm and Basharat was caught on camera making six £1 contactless purchases just minutes later.
She then made another £1 payment and tried to make two more when she next returned to work four days later.
But by that time the card had been cancelled and police arrested her during her shift on Ward One while she was still in possession of the victim’s card.
Basharat initially claimed she found it on the floor and got it “muddled up” with her own card when paying for her snacks.
But a court heard how the bank cards were different colours and that Basharat had ignored hospital protocol around patient lost property.
This incident is disgraceful and clearly fell short of the high standards of integrity that we all expect of NHS employees.
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson
Investigating officer Detective Constable Andrew Snowdon, from West Midlands Police, said: “This was an abhorrent breach of trust and distressing for the victim’s family.
“They were having to come to terms with the death of a loved one from Covid when they found the bank card missing – and then of course the realisation that the card was taken by someone who should have been caring for her.
“Our Hospital Liaison Officer worked closely with Heartlands security team to gather evidence in this case.
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“I’d like to thank them and the victim’s family for their support during the investigation.
“I wish the family all the best for the future and with this conviction hope they can move on from this upsetting episode.”
A hospital spokesperson added: “We would like to offer our sympathies to the patient’s family and sincerely apologise for their experience; this incident is disgraceful and clearly fell short of the high standards of integrity that we all expect of NHS employees.”