OVER £36,000 worth of drugs were destroyed at West Middlesex Hospital last year because of a broken fridge.

The hospital's losses and compensations report shows the medicines had to be "written off" after a fridge in the pharmacy developed a fault and the contents were frozen to a temperature of -17C.

A spokesman for West Middlesex Hospital said that fridge sensors are linked to the hospital switchboard which causes an alarm to activate if the temperature goes above or below a set threshold, however at the time there was no record of how long the temperature had been outside the safe temperature and so for "safety reasons" the medicines were disposed of.

The hospital spokesman said: "Since the incident a number of measures are being put in place to ensure this situation cannot reoccur.
"This includes fixing the fault which led to the freezing, correcting the temperature control system, and introducing a means of recording how long temperature goes outside the set tolerance."
The report also shows that between April and December last year almost £4,000 was spent on patient's lost items - with the majority of those being false teeth.
This has been attributed to patients choosing to wrap their dentures in tissue paper instead of using the special pots provided to patients to store them.
A hospital spokesman said: "Staff sometimes mistake the teeth wrapped in tissue for rubbish.
"This is a common problem across the NHS."