Scotland’s top GP is self-isolating after attending a birthday celebration at his practice in Perthshire.
Dr Andrew Buist, chair of the Scottish General Practitioners Committee at the British Medical Association (BMA), has been told to quarantine following the get together at Ardblair Medical Centre in Blairgowrie.
Patients were told on Friday that they should only contact the practice if they required “urgent care” after a large number of clinical and administration staff were told to self-isolate by Public Health.
The Courier can now reveal that two GP’s, including Dr Buist, and an advanced nurse practitioner at the surgery are in quarantine after attending a birthday celebration in the reception of the Perthshire surgery last Friday.
Dr Buist defended his actions by claiming he had only attended the celebration for “a few minutes”, calling the situation “regrettable”.
The GP said: “Several staff at the Ardblair Practice – including myself – are having to self-isolate until 26th November on the basis of public health advice following a member of staff testing positive for Covid.
“Firstly, we need to say that I hope the member of staff makes a full recovery. After receiving the news our business continuity plan was put into place and isolating staff are able to continue with telephone consultations remotely using the secure link provided by NHS Tayside.
“The staff are isolating because the member of staff who tested positive was amongst those at the practice gathered in reception to mark the birthday of a long standing and valued member of the team a week last Friday.
“I had not been in the practice for the days beforehand as I was working on key BMA business to support GPs across the country and was not aware that anything had been planned until I was informed an hour beforehand while I was in the middle of a patient consultation.
“I briefly joined the staff at lunchtime, while wearing a mask. Indeed all those present were wearing masks, in line with the clear procedures in place at the practice.
“I left after a few minutes to resume what was an extremely busy day dealing with patients.
“It’s clearly regrettable that a well-intentioned effort by staff to mark an important occasion for a much valued colleagues has resulted in this.
“However, these are people who I know first-hand are working hard day in and day out to do their very best for patients in extremely difficult circumstances.
“It was a gathering within the work place with colleagues who they work with every single day and masks were worn.
“I hope that all members of staff are able to return to work once the self-isolation period is over and continue working hard on behalf of our local community.”