Ayrshire saw a major upsurge in hospital admissions through Covid at the start of the summer, with a rapid increase reported in June, according to a new report.

Ayrshire and Arran health chiefs say the spike in admissions happened alongside a number of key targets for local 

Following a rise in Covid-19 cases in the community towards the end of May 2022, the number of Covid-positive patients in local hospitals started to increase rapidly at the start of June 2022, the report to a meeting of Ayrshire and Arran's health board says. 

Numbers reached a peak 183 on July 17, but have since fallen to 169 as of July 28.

The report also says the impact of the "necessary previous reductions in outpatient and elective appointments during the pandemic" has had "a direct impact on key compliance targets and waiting lists". 

The report states: "The total number of patients waiting for a new outpatient appointment and inpatient/day case elective treatment have doubled between February 2020 and June 2022.  

"Diagnostic services have also been impacted by social distancing requirements and reduced patient throughput due to national infection control protocols. 

"This resulted in a rise in the overall number of patients waiting for diagnostics, however waiting lists for endoscopy have reduced substantially compared to January 2022. Imaging waits have also fallen in recent months. 

"The diagnostic capacity has had a significant impact on cancer performance with the 62-day cancer target falling to a low in June 2022.

"Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), drug and alcohol treatment services, and treatment for patients with cancer within 31 days of the decision to treat, continue to exceed their respective targets.

"Unscheduled care services remain challenged by higher levels of acuity and the recent increase in Covid-19 positive inpatients. 

"These challenges have been further exacerbated by Covid-19-related staff absence and outbreaks. 

"Overall emergency department (ED) attendances to date in 2022 remain lower than pre-Covid-19 levels, however have increased in comparison to 2021. 

"Compliance against the ED four-hour target did improve in May 2022, exceeding the national average but has since decreased in June 2022.

"The numbers of ED 12-hour breaches at board level reached the highest number of breaches recorded in NHS Ayrshire and Arran in a single month in June 2022. 

"The three health and social care partnerships (HSCPs) have continued to experience significant and increasingly complex demand for Care at Home. 

"Workforce challenges in this area have been significant, with increased levels of vacancies and absence (Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 related). 

"A further complication, has been a large number of hospital ward and care home closures due to Covid-19 outbreaks, alongside an increase in delayed private guardianship cases for adults with incapacity (AWI).

"This has contributed to an increase in delayed transfers of care, with levels reaching a high in March 2022.

"Numbers have fallen in recent months but remain at higher levels compared to 2021."