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Van thief 'may get rid' of blood and urine samples

Anyone who gave blood at Croydon University Hospital could also be impacted by the theft.

I am sorry to announce that a vehicle used for collecting pathology samples from local GP surgeries for testing at St Helier Hospital was stolen yesterday.

Although we are deeply disappointed that someone would choose to steal the van and its contents, our absolute concern at the moment is making sure any impact on patients is as minimal as possible.

There is a possibility that the thief or thieves may try to get rid of the samples.

I would urge the public, as the samples include blood tests, to please not handle anything they might find and contact the police immediately.

Police are investigating.

– Dr James Marsh, Epsom and St Helier Hospitals

Van containing blood and urine samples taken from GP surgery

A van has been stolen from a GP surgery in south London containing up to 300 samples of blood.The vehicle, which also contained urine samples, microbiology swabs and smears, was taken yesterday lunchtime.

Faccini House Surgery in Morden
Faccini House Surgery in Morden Credit: Google Street View

Medics say anyone who gave a blood sample on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Faccini House Surgery in Morden, south west London, or at another nine surgeries in the area could be affected.

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Gatwick Airport 'not anticipating baggage problems'

Gatwick Airport has said it is not anticipating any baggage issues this weekend.

The airport said it had "robust contingency plans" in place, with 60 extra staff on standby to support baggage handlers Swissport.

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(1/4) Gatwick is operating well and passengers booked to fly through Gatwick this weekend are advised to do so as planned.

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(2/4) Departing flights aren't affected as reports have inaccurately suggested. We reassure passengers that bags will be loaded on aircraft.

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(3/4) We're not expecting baggage delivery issues this weekend, but robust contingency plans in place & 60 extra staff to support Swissport.

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(4/4) Bags are delivered on time for 95% of flights & we continue to work with our airlines & their handling agents to meet high standards.

Read: Swissport hit out at 'untrue' zero-hours baggage problems claim

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Thomas Cook 'working to prevent baggage delays'

Airline Thomas Cook has said it is working to ensure its customers do not experience baggage delays at Gatwick Airport.

A spokesperson for Thomas Cook told ITV News that the company was disappointed that recent baggage issues - which led to delays of up to four hours last weekend - had affected "too many passengers".

Gatwick is drafting in its own staff to help with baggage handling following issues with baggage handling firm Swissport.

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports:

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"We are working to ensure our customers do not experience baggage delays at Gatwick" Thomas Cook

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“At Gatwick, we want to provide a great experience and we are disappointed that recent baggage issues have affected too many passengers."

Watch: Walsh 'to look at other options' if Gatwick issues remain

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Walsh 'to look at other options' if Gatwick issues remain

Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways parent company IAG, has told ITV News he is prepared to look at other options if baggage handlers Swissport fail to resolve their issues at Gatwick Airport.

Gatwick said Swissport had "failed to meet standards" after hundreds of passengers faced long delays to reclaim their baggage last weekend.

"I think they (Swissport) have some issues at Gatwick that they need to address, and if they don't address them to our satisfaction then we have options," he told ITV News' Chris Choi.

"At this stage we are working with them. We are satisfied they are putting the right measures in place and I'm confident they will resolve them

"If they don't we will certainly look at other opportunities."

Read: Passengers told to pack essential items in hand luggage

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Gatwick to use own staff to help with baggage handling

Gatwick Airport is to use its own staff to help with baggage handling in a bid to prevent another weekend of disruption.

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Gatwick Airport has drafted in extra staff to cope with the backlog. Credit: PA

Staff shortages at baggage handlers Swissport caused chaotic scenes at the west Sussex airport last weekend, as passengers faced long delays to reclaim their bags.

Gatwick criticised the the company for "failing to meet standards".

Swissport has drafted in 40 extra staff following last week's problems amid criticism for reportedly using staff on zero-hours contracts.

Read: Gatwick apologises after staff shortage causes baggage chaos

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Swissport deny zero-hours contracts caused problems

Baggage handling company Swissport has denied claims zero-hours contracts were to blame for the disruption at Gatwick Airport last weekend.

Staff shortages at the company forced hundreds of passengers to go home without their luggage and left others waiting for up to five hours to reclaim their bags at the airport on July 27.

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The scene at Gatwick Airport last weekend. Credit: @sophiewood64

The firm told ITV News' Chris Choi the "suggestion that issues may have been caused by zero hour contracts is untrue".

Despite warnings that passengers could face yet more problems this weekend, Swissport said all services this morning were meeting targets.

"Baggage services to client airlines to 7am this morning was good and within its targets. There were no appreciable delays," the company said.

Read: Walsh 'to look at options' if Swissport Gatwick issues remain

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