Routine operations at a hospital in the Scottish Borders have been paused until further notice due to “extreme pressures” across the health service.
NHS Borders said that norovirus, Covid and flu had led to higher than normal levels of staff sickness.
The health board’s medical director, Dr Lynn McCallum, has asked staff to consider working extra time over the weekend to alleviate some of the pressure.
In an update to patients, Dr McCallum said that Borders General Hospital was at full capacity and one ward on the Borders Stroke Unit had been closed due to outbreaks of norovirus.
She said: “To alleviate these pressures, we have taken the difficult decision to pause all routine operations until further notice. Affected patients are being contacted directly.
“Everything possible will be done so that all urgent, cancer and emergency surgeries continue.”
It comes after the Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership (DGHSCP) is making “day by day” decisions on its capacity and strategies to tackle the high demand.
Julie White, chief officer of the DGHSCP said that there were “well over 100 people are in hospital beds whose needs could be better met at home or in a homely setting”.
Patients treated at NHS Borders have been urged to call NHS 24 on 111 before attending the emergency department to reduce the pressures on the team.
Dr McCallum added: “If your family member is fit to be discharged from hospital, they are not able to remain in hospital. Please help us to get them home quickly when they are well enough by being ready and available to collect them or support their discharge to their next place of care.”