Blyth GP practice targeted by thieves for the third time in matter of months
Staff at a Blyth GP practice have been left lost for words after thieves targeted their site, putting their efforts in the fight against Covid in jeopardy.
Members of staff at Railway Medical Group were shocked to find thieves had targeted their site in Gatacre Street, draining their generator of diesel, some time between last Thursday evening and Saturday morning.
The generator is used to power two portable buildings where Covid vaccinations take place, as well as powering laptops, lights and providing heating for a tent where patients wait for 15 minutes after they have received their vaccinations.
Chris Watson, managing partner at Railway Medical Group, said: “It is unbelievable.
"To say that we are lost for words is an understatement.”
Despite the disruption, the practice was able to fulfil all vaccination appointments on Monday and Tuesday of this week, before the practice was able to source more diesel.
Measures have also been put in place to prevent more diesel being stolen.
Chris said it was the third theft from the practice in the space of a few months after someone stole a power cable from the generator and a radio from inside the tent.
Chris added: “We cannot believe people are doing thing like this which is affecting the running of vaccination sites when we’re trying to protect patients from the affects of Covid in the Blyth area and reduce deaths.”
One patient said: “This is just awful news for Blyth.
"Railway Medical Practice have been there for the local community throughout this whole crisis helping everyone, and providing essential vaccinations for all of us.
“For someone to have done this is just unthinkable, a vital service jeopardised and for what?”
Latest figures for Northumberland showed that in the 24 hours up until Tuesday, 242 more people had tested positive to Covid-19 with five more deaths recorded.
Kitty Brewster had seen 47 new cases in the week leading to November 1 while there were 26 in Cowpen, 25 in Wensleydale, 24 in Croft, 23 in Isabella, and 13 in Plessey wards.
Chris encouraged people to get their Covid vaccination or booster jabs.
He said: “We’re trying to get as many people vaccinated as possible. If people want to get the vaccination then they can contact us, they don’t need to be registered here.”