NHS Ayrshire & Arran FoI: University Hospital Ayr reports fewer than five Covid deaths each year from 2020 to 2022

This is the latest in a series of Freedom of Information-based studies of Covid deaths in Scottish regions by the same author.


NHS Ayrshire & Arran is one of the fourteen health boards of NHS Scotland, covering a populous part of the West of Scotland; it was formed on 1 April 2004. It has a responsibility to provide health and social care to almost 400,000 people. The health board has almost 6,000 staff working in its hospitals and almost 2,500 staff working in the community. 

Media and public health hysteria in 2021

According to the Scottish press, NHS Ayrshire and Arran from 1 February 2021 documented record levels of people fighting coronavirus in hospital, with 243 patients hospitalised. NHS Ayrshire and Arran Chief Executive John Burns was quoted as saying that the twelve months ending in March 2021 had been the most difficult he and his team had ever faced. 

Yet, according to Public Health Scotland data, during that time, the health board was seeing significantly fewer admissions to hospitals in general and lower attendance at Accident & Emergency departments in particular than on average, and this trend continued well into 2023—there was a greater than 52% drop in admissions and a greater than 58% drop in A&E attendance in 2020 during the peak ‘pandemic’ phase. Not once can I recall such information having been reported by the mainstream media, who consistently promoted a harmful campaign of fear

Hospital and A&E Admissions Scotland

General admissions, and specific Accident & Emergency attendance, at NHS Ayrshire & Arran hospitals. Source: Public Health Scotland

The Daily Record reported on 856 deaths with Covid–19 in Ayrshire residents up to 28 February 2021. The following data was also revealed in a Freedom of Information Act response:

As at 24th June 2020, there has [sic] been 132 deaths with suspected or confirmed Covid–19 in private adult care homes in the area of NHS Ayrshire & Arran. There has [sic] been 6 deaths with suspected or confirmed Covid–19 in publically- [sic] operated adult care homes (Local Authority or NHS).

Clearly, then, ‘the virus’ was having an impact in Ayrshire, so I decided to check the data covering the two main hospitals in this health board area through Freedom of Information Act requests. Alongside this, I further checked the funeral statistics for the area to discover whether the hysteria being portrayed by the media and the health board Chief Executive was in any way at odds with real-world data. 


Covid deaths at University Hospital Ayr in 2020 were so few that the exact number could not be revealed for privacy reasons.

Astonishingly, University Hospital Ayr reported fewer than five deaths directly from Covid–19 in each of the three alleged pandemic years from 2020 to 2022. Inland, in the Kilmarnock area of the county, University Hospital Crosshouse—which is the one of the largest hospitals in Scotland—recorded only eight such deaths in 2020.

Covid Deaths - Aryshire & Arran

Deaths from Covid at Ayrshire hospitals. Source: NHS Ayrshire & Arran, Freedom of Information response

Despite these facts, and to my amazement, as of summer 2023, both hospitals still have Covid19 restrictions in place, including the wearing of face masks. One has to ask, when are we safe enough from ‘the virus’? The whole point of compliance with the restrictions, the masks and the mass ‘vaccinations’ was to return to pre-‘pandemic’ normal. Why has this not happened?

Covid Hospital Restrictions

Ongoing Covid measures at all Ayrshire & Arran hospitals

Other causes of death ignored and neglected, but why?

When we take a look at ‘non-Covid’ mortality at both of the county’s teaching hospitals, we see that these deaths make up the vast majority of all deaths that have occurred there since ‘the pandemic’ was declared.

Non Covid Deaths

Non-Covid deaths at Ayrshire & Arran hospitals. Source: FoI response by NHS Ayrshire & Arran

It is evident that significantly more people than usual were dying at hospitals in Ayrshire throughout the ‘pandemic’ from other causes, and not from Covid–19. These deaths were rarely, if ever, acknowledged to be a priority for our political leaders, the media or public health authorities. It has become apparent that many more people suffered from medical neglect, even dying from normally treatable conditions, than they ever did from ‘the virus’. 

We can also see the total number of deaths listed as having Covid–19 as an underlying cause by this health board.

Covid Deaths - Ayr & Crosshouse

Covid deaths (“underlying cause”) at Ayrshire’s two teaching hospitals. Source: FoI response by NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Covid–19 deaths, under this definition, amount to just 3% of all deaths from 2020 to 2023. Since that is the most generous of all measures of Covid deaths, this means that 97% of all deaths occurring at these hospitals for all three years from 2020 to 2023 were from non-Covid causes. Another observation is that ‘Covid’ deaths (as an underlying cause) increased in 2021 and again in 2022 compared with 2020, despite the much increased masking, the weaker prevailing Covid–19 variants and the mass ‘vaccination’ campaign that characterised those latter two alleged pandemic years.

A deeper dive into mortality 2010–2022

When looking at the more reliable metric of ‘all-cause mortality’, we see that in the first year of the ‘pandemic’ there were 32 extra deaths from all causes within both hospitals than in 2018, representing a 1.6% statistical difference. The five-year average covering both of the county’s teaching hospitals shows a 4% increase in 2020. Yet more people died in 2018 at Crosshouse (one of Scotland’s largest hospitals) than in 2020. Was the public ever fully informed of these facts, or was the messaging focused entirely on the insurmountable damage said to be occurring from ‘the virus’?

All cause deaths - Ayr & Crosshouse

Deaths from all causes at Ayrshire’s two teaching hospitals. Source: FoI response by NHS Ayrshire & Arran

There were over 1,000 additional ‘Covid’ deaths at Ayrshire hospitals and yet no increase in mortality.

Current National Records of Scotland data shows that NHS Ayrshire & Arran has reported 1,557 Covid deaths since 2020 under all definitions and locations. This equates to over 1,000 Covid deaths in hospital settings in the health board area. These would typically be additional deaths on top of other statistically expected ‘non-Covid’ causes of death that were always going to occur within the population during any time of disruption, whether in a pandemic or a war, etc.—and yet the all-cause hospital mortality for Ayrshire’s two main hospitals does not reflect such a dramatic increase. How is this possible? 

Pivot Table Weekly Deaths

Weekly deaths at NHS Ayrshire & Arran, 2015–2022. Source: National Records of Scotland

recent testimony (June 2023) from paramedic Scarlett Martyn to Canada’s National Citizens Inquiry (one of several such efforts in Western nations to establish the medical truth of the Covid era independent of government and courts) on how ‘Covid’ deaths were recorded gives further insight. Many thousands of ‘Covid’ deaths in Scotland—and millions around the world—were, and still are, recorded as deaths from any cause occurring within 28 days of a ‘positive’ PCR test

Funerals—the ultimate arbiter of mortality: No impact of ‘the virus’

Lastly, when one looks at the funeral statistics for the mainland part of this health board area, released by Ayrshire’s three local councils upon my request under the Freedom of Information Act, one can see that nothing extraordinary has taken place during the ‘pandemic’ period.

South Ayrshire reports some notable excess mortality in 2020: 4% above average, or 97 extra funerals, as compared with 2018. North Ayrshire in 2020 was 5% below average, with 41 fewer funerals. East Ayrshire was 3% below average, with 19 fewer funerals.

Taken together, this data shows that death rates within these council-run facilities were fairly normal in 2020—only 37 more funerals in the county overall. We also know that the lockdowns killed people in excess, so these numbers make the impact of ‘the virus’ even less formidable.

Funeral Statistics 2015-2022

Funeral statistics held by Ayrshire’s three local council areas, 2015–2022. Source: Freedom of Information Act responses

Do facts over fiction reveal an hidden agenda?

To conclude, have our politicians, public health officials and the media been honest about the scale of the problem posed to the population by ‘the virus’, or have they deliberately pushed an agenda of fear and obfuscation for other purposes? I think the data is now compelling that there was no genuine pandemic emergency (whose proclamation typically requires enormous numbers of deaths and illnesses) within any health board in Scotland to justify the long term and unprecedented draconian restrictions on the entire population.

My studies for UK Column will continue with several more Scottish regions.

Main article image: Gustavo Basso | licence CC BY-SA 4.0