Hospital staff are being targeted by bike thieves, according to a nurse from Dorchester whose expensive bike was stolen from hospital grounds.

Adam Armstrong, 34, is a charge nurse in the intensive care ward at Dorset County Hospital. At the end of a 12-hour shift he was looking forward to getting home in time to get his children ready for school but to his shock his £1,500 bicycle had been stolen from outside the hospital main entrance.

Thieves came equipped with bolt cutters and made off leaving only the ruined lock behind. Devastated Mr Armstrong said he had been working hard through the coronavirus pandemic and he relied on his bike for transport to and from his shifts.

He said: "It was pretty upsetting, I'm just shocked that someone would do this at the time. What a way to treat us as known key workers.

"I finish work at 8am and I have to get home and get the kids to school for 9am, it obviously takes me a lot longer to get home without my bike so it's more difficult to get them to school on time."

Mr Armstrong said that hospital staff were being targeted by bike thieves, because of the well-known cycle to work scheme that many hospital workers are encouraged to join. As a result of this, he said thieves know that NHS hospitals are a prime target for stealing bikes.

"It's not the first time something like this has happened obviously. There have been other recent thefts, one two weeks ago and then the bike compound that the bikes are kept in has been broken into multiple times.

"The hospital is an area that's targeted, thieves know that quite a few NHS staff ride to work because of they do a ride to work scheme.

"If they wanted to anonymously return the bike I would be happy for them to do that and forget about it all. I would just say to them to think about the people whose bike you're taking away from them."

A Dorset Police spokesman said: "Officers have carried out enquiries and no arrests have been made at this stage."

Anyone with information should contact 101, quoting 55200093326.