A grateful nurse has praised the care they received as more than 300 Ayrshire NHS staff have tested positive for coronavirus.

Nurses across the health board have been thanked for their incredible efforts on International Nurses Day.

Figures released by NHS Ayrshire and Arran (NHSA&A) today show that 302 frontline workers have now contracted COVID-19, a rise of 28 since last week.

Writing after being discharged following a 12 day battle with COVID-19, a nurse who was treated in Ayr Hospital said: "The care I received from everyone, under such difficult circumstances, was awe inspiring.

"To see everyone pulling together, some who've not worked in that area or with each other before, was humbling. Such kindness, compassion and professionalism. I'm so thankful and forever grateful."

Speaking to all nurses in NHSA&A, Hazel Borland, nurse director, said: "Both towards each other, towards your colleague and towards your patients and their families, you have absolutely continued to strive to deliver the standard of care that you want to deliver even in these difficult times.

"You have changed role, you have moved job, you have joined different teams, you have absolutely done what was asked, and in some cases, not even what was asked because you have come up with those solutions yourselves. So I cannot say again enough how proud I am to be nurse director in NHS Ayrshire and Arran."

At today's daily coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said: "I want today to say an extra special thank you to all of Scotland's nurses.

"The past few weeks have demonstrated yet again just how much all of us owe to your compassion, your dedication and your expertise."

Cumnock Chronicle: Hazel Borland, nurse director for NHS Ayrshire and ArranHazel Borland, nurse director for NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Hospital admissions in the health board have continued to fall. As of last night, 39 patients were being treated for suspected or confirmed coronavirus, with 7 in intensive care.

Across Ayrshire, 13 more positive tests have been confirmed in the last 24 hours, bringing the region's total to 925.

Crosshouse Children's Fund celebrated International Nurses Day with surprise goody bags for Ayrshire nursing heroes at the Maternity, Neonatal and Paediatric Units at University Hospital Crosshouse and the AMU.

A spokesperson said: "We hope you all enjoy this token of our appreciation for your efforts at this challenging time."

An anonymous Ayrshire poet has penned a second poem dedicated to nursing staff.

I Am Her Nurse
By Anonymous

I'll stand like a statue
At the end of her bed
Watching beads of sweat
Roll off her head

I'll watch her frail chest
As it rises and falls
Dreading making
One of those calls

There's no fight in her eyes that's plain to see
And I don't think we've long
Between you and me

So I call in her son
To side by her side
He'll talk about his own daughter
The soon to be bride

He'll hold her hand and
He'll pour out the tears
And as much as I'm hurting
I'm still standing here

Counting her breaths
Watching them slow
There's no need to tell him
He already knows

She's finally at rest
All has been said
And yet I still stand at the foot of her bed

Because I am her nurse
And I was here
Through the struggles the fevers
The coughs and the tears

The family leaves
Giving their best
Then I go on
To contact the rest

This isn't just pain
I can't imagine worse
But I will still stand there
I am her nurse