People in Glasgow are being asked not to attend accident and emergency unless suffering from a very urgent condition due to hospitals being “near capacity”.
It comes amidst a rise in the number of patients testing positive for Covid-19.
The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board has said that the increasing cases are putting “significant pressure” on capacity and available bed numbers.
The board has also outlined the challenges being faced due to delayed discharges across the region.
Earlier this month, waiting times performance in Scotland’s emergency departments dropped to the fourth-worst on record.
In a statement, the health board indicated that the rise in case numbers were having a knock-on effect on A&E departments and assessment units.
“Covid-19 is still very much with us. Our hospitals are near capacity, with more than 620 Covid-19 positive patients on our wards with a diagnosis of 28 days or less,” they said.
“While the overall trend suggests the virus is less severe, and our ICUs remain relatively free from Covid-19 patients for the moment, it is still very transmissible.
“Large numbers of positive patients admitted to hospital – either as direct result of the virus, or admitted for another illness but having tested positive with no symptoms – is putting significant pressure on capacity and available bed numbers.
“This is having a knock-on effect at our A&E Departments and assessment units.”
The spokesperson explained that there is “considerable concern” over the high number of patients delayed in their hospital discharge.
“The rise in patient numbers and the logistical challenges this brings to our teams is being further compounded by the difficulties we face due to delayed discharges,” they continued.
“This is a serious issue for us and is causing considerable concern, with over 300 patients delayed in their discharge from hospital.
“We continue to work closely with our HSCP colleagues, care homes, patients and families to arrange supported discharge for patients as quickly as possible.
“We are reminding the public not to come to A&E unless suffering from a very urgent condition.
“Everyone else who thinks they need urgent medical attention should speak to their GP first, or, call NHS24 on 111.”