A total of 57 NHS Ayrshire and Arran staff have tested positive for COVID-19

Since NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s in-house laboratory analysis began on, March 22, they have carried out 477 tests for coronavirus on staff, family members or household contacts.

Dr Crawford McGuffie, medical director, said: “Of these, 427 were staff members and 50 were family members/household contacts.

"Following the tests, 420 staff were able to return to work after a negative result for either themselves or their family member/household contact.”

NHS staff have helped boost the stock of ventilators, crucial for the care of those suffering from coronavirus (COVID-19), by repurposing more than 200 anaesthetic machines.

These machines, normally used in operating theatres outwith intensive care units (ICU), will supplement the stock of specialised ICU ventilators.

Dr McGuffie said: “A total of 17 anaesthetic machines in NHS Ayrshire and Arran have been made available for use as ventilators,11 at University Hospital Crosshouse and six at University Hospital Ayr.”

Asked about supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), Dr McGuffie said: “The healthboard has supplies of PPE which are available to our staff who work in our hospitals and in community settings.”

John Burns, chief executive of NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said the board is following all government staffing guidelines.

Asked about arrangements for staff to work from home, he said: “We appreciate this is an anxious time for staff and we will facilitate working from home for our staff where possible.

“However, given the nature of the services we provide, this is not always appropriate or possible in all circumstances and staff may be required to attend their place of work.

“We are applying social distancing guidance and staff are asked to maintain a two-metre distance from colleagues at all times where possible, as well as maintaining good infection control practice while at work.

“If staff have concerns regarding attendance in the work place, we would advise them to speak to their line manager.”

Ayrshire’s centre for patients displaying worsening COVID-19 symptoms has opened to support the recently opened COVID-19 Community Clinical Hub.

The assessment centre is a self-contained facility based within Lister Centre, University Hospital Crosshouse operating 24 hours a day.

It will operate on an appointment basis only.

Patients should not attend without an appointment.