Vandals target ambulances as NHS prepares for influx of coronavirus cases

A general view of an emergency ambulance outside the Accident and Emergency Department of the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent.   (Photo by Gareth Fuller - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Six South East Coast ambulances in Kent were targeted by vandals on Sunday night. (Gareth Fuller – PA)

Vandals have deliberately damaged six ambulances as NHS workers struggle to cope with the strain on the service due to coronavirus.

On Monday morning the South East Coast Ambulance service tweeted that its vehicles had been targeted overnight.

Kent Police told Yahoo News UK the attacks were being investigated as criminal offences.

A spokesman said: “Information is being sought following damage caused to a number of ambulances in Thanet.

“Kent Police received an initial report on Sunday that shortly after 7am one vehicle was found to have damaged tyres. Following further enquiries, it has been established that a total of 15 tyres from a number of vehicles were damaged while parked in Haine Road, Ramsgate, between 8pm on Saturday and 7am the following morning.”

District Commander for Thanet, Chief Inspector Ed Ruffle said: “Causing criminal damage to emergency vehicles is highly irresponsible, and it could have put staff and patients in danger. To do this at a time when health services are under enormous pressure to keep people safe, could have had dire consequences, and we ask that anyone with information regarding this, contacts us.”

Witnesses are asked to call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting 46/52297/20.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust told Yahoo News UK that a hospital in Kidderminster had also been the target of vandals who let off around 20 fire extinguishers at midnight.

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Boris Johnson has repeatedly praised NHS staff in his daily briefings, and has urged the public to stay at home to help support health workers and save lives.

Boris Johnson has repeatedly praised 'amazing NHS staff' during the coronavirus crisis. (Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson has repeatedly praised 'amazing NHS staff' during the coronavirus crisis. (Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

New guidelines to help medics decide how to treat patients amid the coronavirus pandemic were issued on Saturday.

The so-called rapid guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) say decisions about admitting people who test positive to critical care should consider the medical benefit and take into account the likelihood of the person’s recovery.