The closure of a hospital ward to stem a clostridium difficile outbreak is putting pressure on the number of beds available at a Highland hospital.
A surgical ward at Raigmore Hospital has been closed in an effort to prevent a spread of the C.diff outbreak which began last week.
Staff say some operations could be postponed because of a shortage in beds.
Nine patients at Raigmore Hospital have come down with the infection over the last month. An outbreak of C.diff was announced on January 19 after five cases had been confirmed.
Five patients with the infection are still in hospital. Two have mild symptoms while three have been symptom free for at least 72 hours.
C.diff particularly affects patients on strong antibiotics, which means it is a particularly serious problem in hospitals.
As well as closing the ward, staff have isolated infected patients, increased cleaning and limited the use of broad spectrum antibiotics in an effort to get rid of the c.diff infection.
Dr Emma Watson, NHS Highland lead infection, prevention, and control doctor, said: "We are continuing to monitor the situation very closely and are taking all necessary actions.
"I would like to reiterate that the risks to healthy patients, visitors and staff are minimal."
The infection has been contained to two wards - ward 4C is closed while ward 3A remains open.