North Yorkshire Police have arrested a man on suspicion of arson and assault at a GP surgery in York.
Yesterday, police received reports of a man who had started a fire at the Ampleforth Surgery and assaulted a staff member, while also carrying a knife.
The surgery told patients it had closed due to a ‘serious fire’ and is not likely to reopen until next week.
Police arrested the man at 1.35pm yesterday, roughly one hour after they received the emergency call from practice staff.
A statement from the North Yorkshire police said: ‘A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson, affray and assault following an incident at a doctor’s surgery in the village of Ampleforth.
‘Police received a call at around 12.25pm on Tuesday 29 August to report of a man who had caused damage to the surgery by setting fire to it and assaulted a member of staff. He was also in possession of a knife and indicated that he intended to harm himself.
‘All three emergency services attended the scene, a cordon was put in place to protect members of the public, and police officers negotiated with the suspect to help resolve the situation safely.’
Ampleforth and Hovingham Surgeries posted an update on Facebook today which said: ‘Following the incident yesterday Ampleforth site is currently closed. We are working to develop a plan to maintain services & will provide more information when available.
‘Please do not call the practice, as we are unable to answer the sheer volume of calls. We will contact you if you have a prescription to collect.
‘If you require urgent medical treatment, please contact NHS 111.’
On Monday, another GP practice in Kent was the target of ‘vandals’ who smashed several windows.
The Sheppey Leisure Complex, which hosts the Sheppey Healthy Living Centre GP practice, said: ‘Unfortunately, we have been hit again by vandals in our area. We have had windows broken in the Healthy Living Centre. This has become a very big problem and we seem to be seeing more and more criminal damage to our site.
‘We have again had police on site this morning to complete their investigations into the further damage that has been caused to our centre.’
NHS England recently launched a new programme aiming to reduce violence against staff working in general practice, encouraging GPs to identify abusive or violent patients who may benefit from rehabilitation.
In June, a survey by a medical defence organisation found that GPs having to tell patients of long waiting lists for hospital treatment face a risk of abuse.
And more than seven in ten GPs have seen or witnessed verbal or physical abuse from patients or their relatives in the past year, according to the survey.
Pulse’s investigation into the effects of abuse earlier this year showed a 16% rise in crimes involving violence at GP surgeries since 2019, after a drop in incidents during the pandemic.