Covid putting ‘significant pressure’ on NHS as ambulances diverted after almost 200 Ayrshire healthcare workers test positive

Nearly 200 members of staff at NHS Ayrshire and Arran have tested positive for Covid-19.

And ambulances heading to Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock, are being diverted to University Hospital, Ayr, as the effects of the crisis widens.

Top brass at the health board admitted that 188 members of staff have tested positive for the virus.

And there are fears the numbers could increase and heap even more pressure on the provision of healthcare in the region.

Joanne Edwards, director of acute services at NHS Ayrshire and Arran said: “An increase in Covid-19 admissions, staff absence and rising emergency attendances, has resulted in significant pressures across the whole health and care system.

“This pressure is being felt right across our services including acute, primary and community care.

“Due to current pressures at University Hospital Crosshouse, we are diverting ambulances to University Hospital Ayr for a short period of time.

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“This is in the interest of patient safety and will allow us to continue to provide the highest quality of care possible.

“There are times when we experience a high demand for our unscheduled care services and our staff work extremely hard to assess and treat patients as quickly as possible.

“We have in place contingency measures to cope with any surge in demand and our two acute hospitals work hand in hand to receive emergency patients as the need arises.

“Winter is always a busy time for our Emergency Departments so we continue to ask members of the public to stop, think, and ask ‘Is it an emergency?’ If it is an emergency, come straight to the Emergency Department or phone 999, otherwise there may be other services that can treat you quicker and closer to home.”

Newly released figures showed an estimated one in 20 people were infected with Covid in the week to December 31 — the highest prevalence in the pandemic.

Now the number of patients in hospital with the coronavirus has almost doubled since Christmas.

Dr Crawford McGuffie, medical director at NHS Ayrshire and Arran said: “NHS Ayrshire & Arran has prepared extensively to deal with Covid-19 and continues to work to ensure we have the right resources, equipment and staffing in place.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran Medical Director Dr Crawford McGuffie
NHS Ayrshire and Arran Medical Director Dr Crawford McGuffie

“As of Wednesday 5 January 2022, we have 188 NHS Ayrshire & Arran staff self-isolating at home as a result of testing positive for Coronavirus (Covid-19).

“This is an extremely challenging time for many of our staff. We are extremely grateful to our teams for the continued support to patient care under difficult circumstances, while also providing support to colleagues.”

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