A DOCTOR’S surgery has shamed a patient for stealing protective equipment intended for its staff.

North Shoebury Surgery revealed on its Facebook page that one of its patients had taken protective gear from the premises, which it was using to keep staff safe from the spread of coronavirus.

The spokesman said: “It saddens the surgery to write this notice.

“Unfortunately a patient thought it okay to steal PPE (personal protective equipment) from the surgery this afternoon (Thursday), which we have been using to ensure we remain active and able to see patients for urgent cases.

“Situations such as these potentially due to theft could reduce the patients we can see now. We as a surgery have worked very hard to ensure everyone including staff remain safe and protected.

“We will not tolerate theft at any time, even more so when such items as those taken could put the staff and patients at risk.”

An NHS Spokesperson said: "PPE equipment is essential to allow NHS staff to treat patients and for their own personal safety.

“This incredibly selfish act puts others at risk and has happened at a time when we all need to support each other and work together to beat the virus.

“We would urge the person or persons responsible to examine their conscience and do the right thing by returning the equipment to the surgery for the benefit of the staff and fellow patients.”

Other patients of the surgery have branded the culprit as “disgusting” in replies to the post.

Helen Maria Dickens said: “I am so sorry to hear someone could do something so selfish unkind when your team is risking your lives to support your patients.

“Hope the culprits will be caught and brought to justice. Sending you all love and thanks for all you’re doing.”

Elizabeth Joseph said: “Unbelievable when you are all putting yourselves on the front line for the community.

“Hopefully there is CCTV and the person is caught and as others have said, struck off of your lists.”

Steve Hunt said: “That is disgusting. People should be thankful for the work you are doing unfortunately there are those who couldn’t give a dam.

“Please keep up your fantastic work and thank you so much.”

Sandy Bart said: “I do hope you have the list of patients and you have contacted the police. This is a serious crime. We all think you are brilliant.”