A GP SURGERY in County Durham is losing thousands of pounds worth of vaccines as a direct result of power shortages caused by Storm Arwen, according to one MP from the region.

Since last Friday, communities and homes in County Durham, North Yorkshire and Cumbria have been without electricity after Storm Arwen battered the region with snow, rain and heavy wind.

Despite Northern Powergrid working to reconnect properties in the affected locations, there are still 16,000 houses in County Durham that don’t have access to power almost six days after it first went down.

Read more: Storm Arwen pictures show trail of destruction across North East

In the aftermath of Storm Arwen, residents living in the villages, towns and cities impacted have been dealing with felled trees, damaged property and fallen pylon cables.

However, today, it’s been revealed that it’s also the healthcare sector that’s come out of the power shortage with severe concerns.

Announcing the worrying revelations in Parliament earlier today, MP for North West Durham, Richard Holden, revealed that one GP in his constituency has been forced to destroy £10,000 worth of flu vaccines at the health care setting, due to the fridges keeping them at the right temperature cutting out.

The Northern Echo: Due to power shortages, refrigerators storing flu vaccines couldn't be turned on and the vaccines had to be destroyed.Due to power shortages, refrigerators storing flu vaccines couldn't be turned on and the vaccines had to be destroyed.

He has asked the Department for Health to reimburse these supplies so people in County Durham can receive their flu vaccine before Christmas.

In another worrying case study, Mr Holden also highlighted that one secondary school in the area still hasn’t got power – meaning that hundreds of children have been left without education for four days.

Taking to the House of Commons, the North West Durham MP said: “Storm Arwen has left people in my constituency in a dangerous and unimaginable situation.

The Northern Echo: MP for North West Durham, Richard Holden.MP for North West Durham, Richard Holden.

“Pupils can’t get to school, people can’t get to work, and others are left in their own homes – cold and afraid.

“One of the rural GPs in my constituency has lost £10,000 in flu vaccines – and this will have a knock-on effect for people in County Durham.

Mr Holden’s comments come after it was announced that the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Greg Hands, would be in Weardale region today – amid fears that some houses could be without power for “the foreseeable future”.

The Northern Echo: City of Durham MP, Mary Kelly Foy.City of Durham MP, Mary Kelly Foy.

The North West Durham MP isn’t the only politician from County Durham to get involved in asking the Government for clarity on the Storm Arwen crisis.

Both MP for MP for City of Durham, Mary Kelly Foy and MP for Bishop Auckland, Dehenna Davison, took to the House of Commons to ask what help is available for those still left without power, with the latter describing Storm Arwen as "the biggest damage caused in living memory".

Addressing the Commons today, Ms Foy said: “People are quite understandably concerned about continued power outages and the lack of clear and reliable information being provided.

Read more: Storm Arwen aftermath dealt with by agencies

“It is deeply concerning how many people, including a great number who are vulnerable, ill, or have extremely tight household budgets, have been left without lighting, heating or basic cooking facilities for days on end.”

“Special thanks must go to the selflessness of the many volunteers who have opened the doors of community centres to ensure that residents can escape the cold and have access to a hot meal. “

Summing up the House of Commons debate about Storm Arwen, the Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng MP, pledged to do everything possible to ensure people are not left without power until Christmas.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054