Operations stopped at Llandough hospital in south Wales after metal cabling from back-up generator stolen
Hospital bosses have been forced to suspend surgery after thieves stole metal cabling from a potentially vital back-up generator.
Operations at Llandough hospital in Penarth, south Wales, were on hold until an alternative back-up could be put in place.
The hospital, run by the Cardiff and Vale University health board, suspended all surgery after the discovery of the theft on Tuesday.
Police were called when it was found that thieves had targeted the generator for its valuable copper.
Back-up generators are crucial to hospitals because they guarantee life and death services remain running if there is a power cut.
Llandough hospital deals with an array of non-emergency operations, including orthopaedic and breast surgery.
Jan Williams, the university health board chief executive, called the theft dangerous and irresponsible.
"NHS staff work tirelessly to care for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities and it is depressing to note that, for these thieves, the monetary value of copper is of more consequence," she said.
Surgery was suspended at the hospital until at least lunchtime on Wednesday.
"The situation will be reviewed again at lunchtime to ensure we can resume normal activity as soon as possible," Williams added.
South Wales police confirmed the theft was reported to them at 2.50pm on Tuesday and an investigation was under way.