No let-up at BGH as more routine operations are cancelled

NHS Borders has cancelled routine operations for a further two weeks, with outpatient appointments now also under review.

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 2:42 pm
Borders General Hospital in Melrose. Photograph: Bill McBurnie

It comes as the Borders General Hospital faces mounting pressure, with a “very high demand” for in-patient beds including rising numbers of patients being admitted with Covid-19.

NHS Borders cancelled all non-urgent operations on Wednesday, August 11 until August 22 as the hospital in Melrose and the wider health system came under “significant pressure”.

However, that pressure has not eased and all routine operations scheduled until Sunday, September 5 have now also been cancelled.

In an update last Thursday, a spokesperson for the health board said: “There is still a very high demand for in-patient beds, including rising numbers of patients who are being admitted with Covid-19.

“As a result we have taken the difficult decision to cancel all scheduled routine operations for a further two weeks. Affected patients are being contacted directly.”

NHS Borders insists the decision is necessary to make sure that it could continue vital services.

They said: "We are truly sorry to those that this decision affects. However we hope that you understand that patient and staff safety is our top priority, including providing the highest quality of care and support.

"We can assure you that the situation remains under constant review. All urgent, cancer and emergency surgeries will continue during this time.”

Some outpatient appointments may also need to be cancelled.

However the health board said that that was currently under review, and that patients should attend for appointments unless they hear otherwise.

The spokesperson added: “Our incredible staff continue to work tirelessly to treat the patients in their care across all our services and we are immensely grateful to them. Please continue to treat them with the respect they deserve.

“It remains crucial, especially with rises in Covid-19 admissions and the continued easing of restrictions, that we all continue to be responsible and follow the rules that are in place in order to protect each other and our local health and social care services.”