Borders General Hospital dealing with highest number of Covid-positive patients in three years

Borders General Hospital.

Health bosses at Borders General Hospital say they are dealing with as many patients with coronavirus than at any time in the last three years.

NHS Borders says it is "experiencing extreme pressures across the health system" and that the hospital is "at capacity".

Gareth Clinkscale, director of acute services, said: "Our beds are full and our emergency department is exceptionally busy, with a number of people requiring admission.

"Covid-19 rates are also increasing quickly and we now have as many patients in our hospitals who have tested positive for Covid-19 than at any time over the last few years.

"This is a very challenging situation and our incredible staff throughout the system are working round the clock to care for their patients."

Patients are asked to call NHS 24 on 111 before attending the emergency department where they will be signposted to the right place to get the advice or care that they need.

"You may need to wait a while for your call to be answered or for a member of the team to call you back, but this can be done in the comfort of your own home," continued Mr Clinkscale.

"If you do need to be seen you may be given an appointment time to minimise the time you need to spend in the department. This also reduces pressure on our team.

"If you think that your condition is immediately life-threatening, you should call 999."

Spring Covid vaccinations will be available through community clinics. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

Family members of patients who are fit to be discharged from hospital are also asked to be available to collect them or support their discharge to help with the flow of patients.

"Please understand that we cannot always offer the preferred next place of care in the location that you would choose, and we may ask you to compromise," added Mr Clinkscale.

"Working with us to accept this means that we can get the flow through our hospitals moving which helps avoid long waits in our emergency department.

"If you are unwell please play your part and help protect yourself and others by staying at home and not visiting relatives who are in hospital."

People are urged to continue regularly washing their hands with warm, soapy water to stop the spread of coronavirus and other viruses.

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