A MAN walked into a health centre and smashed up the reception with a sledgehammer.

Terrified staff watched as he caused hundreds of pounds of damage at the Warrior House Health Centre in Southchurch Road, Southend.

He destroyed three panes of glass, three computers and a telephone in the reception area.

The South Essex Partnership Trust, which runs the centre, is now reviewing security.

A spokesman for the trust said: “No one was hurt in the incident, but the safety of our staff and patients is of paramount importance.”

The health centre services include a mental health clinic.

A source said: “Staff and patients were put at risk.

"Apparently the guy had gone in, then came back very angry and started smashing the place up.

When the police came he was gone.”

It is believed a man turned violent in the same reception area on March 21 last year, although did not cause damage on the same scale.

The trust spokesman added: “Risk is an increased part of everyday life in the NHS and when violent incidents occur, which are thankfully rare, a team of security and risk specialists immediately assess the situation and advise the trust of any additional security and health-andsafety measures which can be implemented.”

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: “A 50-year-old man from Westcliff was later arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and possessing an offensive weapon.

"He has been released on bail, pending further enquiries.”