Protective masks stolen from Worcestershire GP surgery

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image captionStaff at The Church Street Surgery on Callows Lane in Kidderminster urged the thieves to return the masks

Thieves have stolen the only box of protective masks from a doctors' surgery in Worcestershire.

The Church Street Surgery in Kidderminster said in a social media post that the box had only been donated to them by a local dental practice on Monday when they were taken.

Staff said they did not report Tuesday's theft to police but urged thieves to return the masks.

"We need them to protect staff and remain open," its statement said.

People commenting on the surgery's Facebook post described the theft as "disgusting", "disgraceful" and "the height of selfishness".

Since posting about the theft, surgery staff said they had received several offers of masks donated by the public.

In an update online, the surgery said staff had been "totally humbled by the kindness and generosity [they] have received".

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image captionThe masks are needed to enable staff to keep the surgery open, they said

"The messages of support have been overwhelming and we have received extremely generous donations of masks from individuals which now means we have enough to keep our staff safe until our official supplies arrive," the statement added.

Following the donations, Clare Nock, chief executive officer of the Wyre Forest Health Partnership, which runs the surgery, said it meant staff were "not scraping the back of the cupboard to find one last mask to treat one more patient".

Last week, a London man was jailed for stealing personal protective equipment (PPE) from an ambulance while salons and tattoo parlours in Sandwell donated PPE to care workers following an appeal by the local authority.

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