For as many years as I can remember, there has been pedestrian access from Edward Street in Blyth to Blyth Community Hospital and several doctor’s surgeries in Thoroton Street.
This access is used by a large number of people on a daily basis to gain access, not only to the medical facilities, but also to the shops and services nearby.
Very recently, the estates department responsible for Blyth Community Hospital has erected a fence preventing access to the aforementioned facilities.
This action will cause a great deal of inconvenience to a large number of people on a daily basis.
I contacted the department to establish why this drastic measure has been taken.
A spokesperson said that someone had been assaulted in the vicinity of the pedestrian access to the hospital grounds.
Working on that premise, the hospital doors should be locked to prevent public access, judging by the number of assaults on medical staff we often hear about.
Whilst any assault is deplorable and sensible measures should be taken to prevent any recurrence, to deny elderly people easier access to medical and other facilities seems rather drastic to me.
I would also question the legality of such an action as fencing off a long-established access route.