CARE home residents have been advised to lock away sentimental items after jewellery was stolen from a frail pensioner.

Patricia Woods, 70, was left distraught after items given to her by her late husband were stolen from a safe at the Bupa-run Carnarvon Nursing Centre, in Carnarvon Road, Clacton.

They were taken while she was being treated at Colchester General Hospital for leg ulcers.

The stolen goods included gold wedding, engagement and eternity rings and a platinum locket.

The nursing centre said an internal investigation into the incident, which happened between October 23 and November 18, has now been completed.

A spokeswoman for the home said: “It is sad to think someone would steal from a vulnerable older lady. We informed the police and have carried out our own internal review.

“We have not suspended anyone in relation to this incident.

“We have an active whistleblowing system in our homes and always encourage our people to use it to raise any concerns they have.

“We always advise residents to insure and lock away items of special sentimental or financial value.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said no one had been arrested in relation to the incident and officers were appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Daughter-in-law Sarah Woods said Mrs Woods was only at the home as a temporary measure and after coming out of hospital she was placed at another home in Colchester.

She said Mrs Woods was left “very upset” as the items included the rings bought for her by her husband, Eric, who died in 2007.