CONCERNS have been raised over hygiene products being stolen from hospitals as shops ration purchases to stop panic buyers.

Hand sanitiser, toilet roll and other items, have been going missing from hospitals.

Staff from within the three main hospitals in south Essex have all confirmed that items have been mysteriously vanishing.

A spokesman for Save Southend NHS, who also works within Southend Hospital, said: “I can’t confirm anything concrete at this stage but staff have said that hand sanitisers have been disappearing.

“They have then seen items appearing on eBay.”

Large green bottles of hand sanitisers, similar to those used by hospitals, can be found on the buy and sell site, listed as “hospital-grade”, although it is unclear where they have been sourced from.

Broomfield Hospital, in Chelmsford, has also raised the same concerns.

An employee at Broomfield Hospital, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “There are always issues with things like hand sanitiser going missing and people taking the huge rolls of toilet roll, but it has got a lot worse in the last ten days or so.

“I heard wards are running out of the products and having to order extra in.

“It is really tough, obviously people are panicked and a bit scared, and they probably think we have loads of supplies at the hospital, but that is not the case.

“It is more important than ever that hygiene is tip top at the hospital, but things like this make it very difficult.”

Several supermarket giants have seen south Essex branches stripped of supplies, mainly soap and toilet roll, as well as general medicines such as paracetamol.

A source from within Basildon Hospital and Broomfield Hospital, who wished to remain anonymous, added: “People appear to be taking measures into their own hands by raiding hospitals of supplies including hand sanitiser, face masks and toilet rolls.

“Not only have we seen this at hospitals across the country, but some of these items have also gone missing from Basildon and Broomfield.

“As the escalation of the coronavirus spreads, the public are becoming more anxious about having sufficient supplies for their families.”

Each hospitals opted not to comment on the fears raised by staff.