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Coronavirus Kent: Thief steals NHS worker's contaminated boots from outside her Ramsgate house

A thief stole two pairs of shoes from outside an NHS worker's house - but didn't realise they could be contaminated with coronavirus.

Sarah Bland, who lives in Ramsgate, left her bagged-up Timberland boots, which she wears on the ward at Kent and Canterbury Hospital, and a pair of Skechers outside the front of her house last night.

Sarah Bland with her daughter
Sarah Bland with her daughter

The mum-of-one does this after every shift so the potentially-contaminated footwear doesn't come into her home.

But when the occupational therapist stepped outside in her socks this morning to put them on, she found they had disappeared.

"It made me bawl my eyes out crying," she admitted.

"It was the straw that broke the camel's back.

"I wrote a sign saying 'please can I have my shoes back?' which I have Sellotaped to my wall."

Ms Mcternan Brand works at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury
Ms Mcternan Brand works at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury

The 30-year-old is currently working on a Covid-19 ward making sure patients are mobile and keeping their strength up.

"Being still for long periods is not good for the chest," she said.

"We want to keep their mobility maintained so the therapists are going in and getting them moving."

She says due to risks of contamination, strict measures are in place meaning staff change in and out of their uniform at work and bag it up before taking it home to wash, to stop the spread of the virus.

Ms Bland says she wears her Timberlands on the ward and her Skechers around the hospital and to and from work, so she leaves them outside when she gets home, with the boots in a bag.

"I'm now wearing an old pair of Timberlands that are battered - I just want my shoes back."

"I have a drive and path, so it's not like they're just on the roadside," she said.

"I can't believe someone would take them.

"I'm now wearing an old pair of Timberlands that are battered - I just want my shoes back."

She admits it is an anxious time for NHS workers and her team.

"I can't even explain how amazing the staff are," she added.

"They are brilliant and I'm so proud."

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