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Veterans’ centre in Harold Wood smashed up by vandals

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 January 2015

A view of the boarded up windows at the Long Term Conditions Centre

A view of the boarded up windows at the Long Term Conditions Centre

Archant

Vandals are “destroying” a hospital used by war veterans and amputees.

Castings used to build prosthetic limbs had to be thrown out after 10 windows were smashed at theLong-Term Conditions Centre in Harold Wood.

Large parts of the site are now boarded up following the incident, one of several recent attacks.

NHS site owners estimate the current damage, thought to have been caused over Christmas, will cost the taxpayer £10,000 to repair.

A centre user from Hornchurch, who lost a leg below the knee seven years ago, described the situation as “ridiculous”.

He said: “For a lot of people in Havering, the centre is ideal, but it’s just being destroyed.

“It needs a revamp badly, but it should not have been allowed to get to this situation.”

The 66-year-old, who asked not to be named, added: “It’s just so terrible that the place is being vandalised.

“We’ve got our records in there, it’s where we see the doctors.

“Over Christmas they had lots broken. It’s just not right, is it?

“It’s a hospital.”

Services provided at the centre, including assessment for prosthetic limbs, are managed by North East London Foundation Trust (Nelft).

It said it was “a shame” a centre that provides “NHS services for vulnerable people” was being targeted and the most recent incident meant damaged castings for artificial limbs had to be destroyed.

The site – on the old Harold Wood Hospital site off Gubbins Lane – is owned by NHS Property Services.

A spokeswoman apologised for the latest incident, one of four since April 2013.

“Vandalism to NHS property not only costs money that could be invested in providing better facilities for patients, it also has a direct impact on patients who rightly expect to be treated in premises that are safe and secure,” she said.

She added the site remained fully operational, work was being undertaken to improve security and police had been informed about the “pointless crime”.


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