Hospital bosses have critisied thieves who have stolen hand sanitiser from wards in the north-east.
NHS Grampian said the despicable practice is putting both staff and patients at risk during the unfolding coronavirus crisis.
The organisation said:”Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is one of the best ways of preventing the spread of Covid-19.
“Anti-bacterial hand sanitiser is not more effective, and should only be used when you do not have ready access to soap and water.
“Unfortunately, we have had reports of sanitiser being removed from ward areas.
“This is theft and it is putting patients, staff and visitors at risk.”
Chairman of the patient group Patient Action Coordination Team (Pact), Jamie Weir, added: “The NHS through the Grampian Health Board are doing everything possible to protect patients and staff.
“If sanitisers are being taken away from clinical areas then this is totally irresponsible and potentially very serious.
“It is to be hoped that these isolated incidents will not be repeated.”