Police have been called in to Hinchingbrooke Hospital following a spate of thefts targeting staff members over the last week.

The matter came to a head on Tuesday morning after a set of car keys were taken from the hospital and a vehicle belonging to a member of staff was driven away by thieves while they were on duty.

A staff member at Hinchingbrooke, who asked not to be named, said it was the latest and most serious incident in a recent spate of thefts, which have reportedly seen mobile phones, purses, and other personal items stolen from staff members while they were on the wards.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police confirmed that officers were called at about 2am on Tuesday following reports that a car had been stolen from the hospital.

The spokesman said: "We were called to reports of a car key and car - a red Citroen C1 - being stolen from Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Investigations are ongoing."

The member of staff said hospital management had been made aware of the incidents and added that it was suspected that the perpetrator had access to a security card, which had allowed them to gain entry to areas of the hospital which were normally off limits to members of the public.

The staff member said: "It has gone beyond pilfering; it has started to get serious."

A spokesman for the North West Anglia NHS Trust, which runs Hinchingbrooke Hospital, said the thefts would "not be tolerated" and work was being done to identify the culprits.

The spokesman said: "I can confirm we are investigating reports of thefts from staff while they have been on duty at our hospital.

"Our security team are working with the police to examine security data and CCTV footage to help identify the person, or people, responsible.

"Crime in our hospital will not be tolerated. We have alerted our staff members to these incidents so that they can be extra vigilant and ensure they do not risk leaving any belongings unattended."