Winter pressures on health and care staff

Planned procedures at Borders General Hospital were disrupted for days.
Planned procedures at Borders General Hospital were disrupted for days.

NHS Borders staff and their social care colleagues report that this past winter has been one of the worst they have dealt with.

Winter pressures continued for health and care staff through into March, courtesy of the ‘Beast from the East’ which was responsible for 25% of planned procedures being postponed over a five day period from March 1-6.

Claire Pearce, director of nursing, midwifery and acute services, said: “Our staff worked tirelessly against these challenges and undertook surgery on 357 people, which was a 15% increase from the previous month. We had planned to see 458 people; however we had to postpone 101 of these scheduled procedures.

“In 43 cases procedures were postponed due to bed availability, because there were a number of very sick emergency patients requiring care in the Borders General Hospital. Sixteen patients cancelled their procedures and in seven instances we had to postpone procedures due to clinical reasons.

“We continue to work very hard to drive down cancellation rates and minimise disruption for patients and their families.”