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Scots hospital halts admission after 10 staff members test positive for Covid-19

Daily Record logoDaily Record 23/05/2020 Gary Carter
a house on the side of a road: Concerns have been raised about coronavirus procedures © Google Concerns have been raised about coronavirus procedures

Admissions to a hospital have been suspended after an outbreak of coronavirus.

It is understood at least 10 members of staff at Seafield Hospital in Buckie, Moray, have tested positive for Covid-19, with several patients also affected.

NHS Grampian has confirmed that nobody will be admitted to the unit until Wednesday as part of efforts to control the outbreak.

Concerns have been raised about coronavirus procedures in Moray after it emerged some patients who tested positive were kept in Buckie, while others were transferred to Aberdeen.

The NHS says the distinction was made because of some displaying symptoms of the virus while others showed no sign of it.

However, local MP Douglas Ross and Buckie councillor Tim Eagle say the outbreak shows the need for a designated zone in Moray for Covid-19 patients.

Mr Eagle said: "NHS Grampian made it clear at the start of this crisis that Moray's hospitals would be Covid-free sites, with positive patients needing hospital treatment being transferred to Aberdeen.

"At the time we raised questions about this, suggesting Moray should have a designated Covid-19 zone.

"We seem now to be hearing that Covid patients were being treated alongside non-Covid patients. Given the virulence of this virus, this seems crazy."

Mr Ross added: "My concern is that while NHS Grampian explore a local pathway, staff and patients are being put at increased risk of the virus.

"While the response to this crisis is complex and fast paced, to leave Moray in a situation where it has no designated Covid-19 zone is deeply concerning."

Seafield Hospital has 32 beds to provide rehabilitation, assessments, palliative care and respite spells as well as medical care.

NHS Grampian says enhanced cleaning and infection control procedures have been put in place, with support provided for affected patients and staff.

A spokeswoman said: "In line with NHS Grampian's Covid-19 response, a number of symptomatically affected patients were transferred to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for management of their clinical symptoms under the agreed management pathways.

"However, a small cohort of patients who tested positive but remained asymptomatic stayed within Seafield Hospital for their ongoing care needs, as agreed following discussion with the infectious diseases and microbiology team.

"The regional Covid-19 hospital remains at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and patients from Moray who require treatment and management of Covid-19 related illness continue to be transferred for their care, if required."

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