An Isle of Wight couple have been left "angry and frustrated" after a three year battle with the Island’s hospital over a missing gold necklace.

Colin Balfour, from Freshwater, believes a "sentimental" 22 carat necklace, bought from India for £1,300, was 'stolen' from his wife Jacqueline while she lay in her hospital bed. 

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust has always denied the claims.

Colin, 79, reached out to the County Press after reading our front page story two weeks ago, which revealed a spike in the number of personal items disappearing at St Mary’s Hospital over the last three years.

Read more: Isle of Wight hospital missing patient jewellery reports surge

Colin said he has been passed from “pillar to post” in his attempts to get answers from trust.

Jacqueline was admitted to St Mary's on February 17, 2021.

Before going for a CT scan, she recalls two nurses taking her gold necklace off and telling her they were going to put it 'safely away'.

Isle of Wight County Press: Jacqueline and Colin Balfour with an edition of the County Press, with the headline 'spike in missing items at hospital'.Jacqueline and Colin Balfour with an edition of the County Press, with the headline 'spike in missing items at hospital'. (Image: Isle of Wight County Press)

As she was due to be transferred to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, she asked for the jewellery to be returned.

At first, she said she was told the key to the safe it was in had been lost, and then was told the safe was empty.

"I was really cross", she said.

"The necklace was something I saved up to get and I had it for years."

After discovering the necklace had not been returned, Colin, who could not go to the hospital because of Covid restrictions, set out to get it back.

Over three years, he exchanged dozens of emails and letters with the NHS Trust.

Initially, he said the trust was apologetic but the necklace was never found.

He involved SWAN — an independent advocacy charity, and said he reported the alleged theft to the police, but it was not investigated.

Colin said the trust interviewed some staff but nothing came of it and he was "maddened" when it was suggested he claim it back on his home insurance.

As the case was "going on and on", in July last year, the couple reluctantly accepted a 'goodwill gesture' of £500 from the trust.

They said they wanted to share their story so it does not happen to anyone else and because they don't want the trust to "get away with it" .

A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust said: “We are sorry that this piece of jewellery has been lost while in the care of the NHS.

"We carried out a thorough investigation at the time and unfortunately the item was not found.

“Our clinical teams work hard to look after all of our patients and their belongings in very busy departments however we accept that it is upsetting when important and sentimental items are misplaced.

“We urge patients and their families to leave any precious items at home or to send them home with family and friends at the earliest opportunity.”