Military assistance for NHS Borders

Military personnel are set to help NHS Borders as it deals with pressures caused by Covid-19 and the backlog in treatment which has come about as a result of the pandemic.

The Scottish Government has said that the health board is one of two to receive this support scheduled to be in place between October 19 and November 10, the other is NHS Lanarkshire.

This support will consist of 14 military medics, two nurses and four additional military personnel to help in acute settings. A military driver will provide transport and two military medics will oversee operations from the Army’s Scottish headquarters in Stirling.

The Government has said the health board is suffering staff shortages and its acute services - which generally provide short-term care - are at full capacity.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf MSP said:

Humza Yousaf has warned of increased pressures on the NHS this winter. Credit: NHS Borders

Mr Yousaf added that over winter it was expected that Covid-19 would circulate alongside other respiratory viruses like flu, which would further increase pressure on the NHS.

Earlier this year the health board's medical director said it was facing "unprecedented challenges" as a result of the current situation. It has also had to cancel routine operations.

Following the announcement, the health board said these operations would be "gradually restarting over the coming weeks".

Director of acute services, Gareth Clinkscale, said: 

He added: “Thanks to this additional support we will be increasing the number of operations that we can deliver. I would like to reassure the public that all of our patients are continuing to be clinically prioritised so that those in the most need are cared for first.”

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