Health services under pressure as Covid cases hit record high

Arran High School is the centralised venue for the vaccination clinics being hosted by Arran Medical Group.

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By Colin Smeeton

The continuing Covid pandemic and high numbers of cases on Arran are impacting on health and social care services on the island.

Arran Medical Group has said staffing difficulties are responsible for some services having to be restricted to ensure essential services can continue as the number of confirmed cases of Covid on the island reaches almost 100.

As a result temporary changes are having to be introduced to keep GP practices running.

In a statement the medical group said: ‘For a period of time this will mean a restriction on the ability to book GP appointments in advance.

‘If you need assistance please phone the practice as usual and an appointment will be arranged for you.

‘The doctor, advanced nurse practitioner or nurse you speak with will be able to arrange a face-to-face appointment if this is needed.

‘While we are grateful if non-urgent issues could be delayed at present please do not hesitate to get in touch if you are unwell or concerned. Thank you for your understanding and support.’

The reduction in services comes as Arran records its highest number of infections; 98 up to Friday March 25.

It also follows a vaccination clinic held at Arran High School last weekend which included various categories of people due to receive follow-up doses as well as first paediatric doses for children aged between five and 11 years.

Reports, which are not available for Arran from Public Health Scotland for the five to 11 year-old category, indicate that the Arran clinic was well attended with one parent saying that ‘medical staff went above and beyond to ensure that children were at ease and comfortable with receiving their vaccinations. Staff engaged well with the children and provided them with drawing activities, balloons and a reward sticker for brave behaviour. Overall it was a quick and painless procedure and my child left the clinic smiling.’

In the NHS Ayrshire and Arran localities combined, 2,327 children aged between five and 11 years received their first vaccination.

Those children who received their paediatric dose will be due their second dose in 12 weeks.

A further clinic will be held tomorrow (Saturday) for certain eligible groups to receive their Spring booster shot.

Further information on eligibility will be made available once it has been confirmed.