Staff at University Hospital Ayr are isolating after coming into contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus.

It is believed staff from the radiology ward at the hospital were on a Christmas night out at Lochside House Hotel last Saturday (December 11) and this is where the close contact was made.

A source, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Advertiser: "A member of staff tested positive for Covid on Sunday and due to this all 35 staff that attended the Christmas night out had to go home from work on Monday, isolate and take a PCR test.

"This left three staff to man the whole of Radiology. 

"What is especially disgusting is this night out came after Nicola Sturgeon's address advising us to not attend Christmas parties if possible."

The First Minister had said that no restrictions were being enforced by law, and that people should reduce mixing where possible.

The source continued: "The same thing happened at a South Lanarkshire hospital previously and this obviously was just ignored by the Ayr staff. None of the staff, when asked on Monday, had taken a Lateral Flow Test before attending the party.

"When spoken to by a Manager, a number of staff refused to accept this was a wrong decision to go [to the night out] and even boasted that a 10-day isolation period would be a nice break."

When asked about the alleged outbreak from a night out, NHS Ayrshire & Arran told the Advertiser: "NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Test and Protect team have carried out a contact tracing exercise within a department at University Hospital Ayr following a number of staff being in contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

"The staff identified have been contacted by Test and Protect and advised to self-isolate and book a PCR test in line with national guidance. Staff have been deployed from other areas to ensure continued patient care and service delivery.

"To respect and maintain confidentiality it is not possible to release any further information at this time.

"With the increasing numbers of the Omicron variant of Coronavirus circulating in our communities, it is already having a negative impact across our health and social care system.

"NHS Ayrshire & Arran has well established procedures in place to help mitigate and stop the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate this is a very worrying time, however we would like to assure people that every measure is being taken to protect patients and staff.

"We are grateful to our staff who continue to work tirelessly under challenging conditions."