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NHS confirm COVID-19 cases among staff and patients at Buckie hospital

By Lorna Thompson

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NHS Grampian is investigating confirmed cases of coronavirus among both staff and patients at a Moray hospital.

The health authority said there were a number of cases at Seafield Hospital, in Buckie, but would not be drawn on exactly how many.

It is understood, however, that 19 staff could be affected and 14 patients.

An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: "We are investigating a number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Seafield Hospital.

"The ward has been closed to new admissions but otherwise the hospital is operating as normal.

"Enhanced cleaning and infection prevention and control measures have been put in place and support is being provided to both patients and staff."

Moray Conservative MP Douglas Ross and Buckie councillor Tim Eagle said they had both been contacted by concerned members of the public and staff at Seafield Hospital and subsequently raised concerns with NHS Grampian bosses that pathways for the treatment of patients with coronavirus were putting staff and members of the public at risk "following an outbreak at the hospital".

NHS Grampian has confirmed there are a number of coronavirus cases among patients and staff at Seafield Hospital, in Barhill Road, Buckie. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
NHS Grampian has confirmed there are a number of coronavirus cases among patients and staff at Seafield Hospital, in Barhill Road, Buckie. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

Mr Ross said: "In recent days I’ve been contacted by local people in Buckie raising concerns over the treatment of COVID-19 positive cases at Seafield Hospital. I have raised these concerns with the chief executive of NHS Grampian who has replied confirming there have been positive cases at the hospital and some were transferred to ARI based on clinical need.

"However, the response also raises the issue about palliative care for COVID-19 patients, where NHS Grampian are exploring local pathways.

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

"Whilst 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 and I am urging NHS Grampian to prioritise the situation at Seafield Hospital and across Moray, as the number of people who are contacting me shows there is growing concern in the community about this."

Mr Eagle said: "I have had a few local people contact me regarding Seafield Hospital – with some reporting that several staff and patients are showing symptoms of the virus.

"At the same time Douglas Ross MP was also receiving letters of concern and so together we contacted the chief executive of NHS Grampian to raise concerns.

"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 ARI.

"At the time we raised questions on this suggesting Moray should have a designated COVID-19 or 'red' 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 and if reports are true clearly something is not right.

"I am seeking assurances that NHS Grampian's own policies are being followed and that our hard-working staff and local patients are being appropriately looked after."

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