AYR Hospital’s emergency department had to close for hours due to a burst pipe that led to patients having to be diverted to Crosshouse.

The issue started when the hospital’s heating system based in the plant room above the ED unit.

Fire crews were called to the hospital after the leak caused the fire alarm system to activate around 2pm on Sunday.

Two appliances attended as the decision was taken to close the department and divert patients to Crosshouse outside Kilmarnock.

Six ambulances took emergency patients to the Emergency Department at Crosshouse, as repair work was carried out.

Ayr’s ED reopened around 5.30pm after the problem was repaired.

John Wright Director of Corporate Support Services said: “An unexpected failure occurred within the hospital heating system plant room located above the ED at approximately 2pm, which resulted in water leaking into the ED.

"The leak caused the fire alarm system to activate and two Scottish Fire and Rescue appliances attended.

“A successful repair was carried out on the heating system and no significant damage was identified within the ED. Replacement ceiling tiles were fitted as required and the ED was reopened at approximately 5.30pm.

“During the period of closure six ambulances were diverted to the Emergency Department at University Hospital Crosshouse. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by this incident.”