Bosses at the Borders General Hospital at Melrose have issued a plea to patients to steer clear of its casualty department unless unavoidable.
It is also warning those patients who do need to be seen there to expect delays.
NHS Borders chief executive Ralph Roberts said: “We are currently experiencing exceptionally high demand in our accident-and-emergency department which is putting pressure on bed availability in the hospital.
“To help us take the pressure off the hospital, only go to A&E if you have an illness or injury that is serious and requires urgent medical attention.
“If you do need to attend A&E, you may have to wait longer than usual, so please be patient and remember that our staff are doing their best during this very busy time.
“If you are unwell and it is not an emergency, there are a wide range of NHS services available to provide you with the appropriate treatment and care.
“GP surgeries are open, and your community pharmacies are open and available to provide expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and ailments and to give advice about your medicines.
“Please make sure you have adequate stocks of regular prescription medicines that you take.
“If you or someone you care for is unwell when your GP surgery is closed, contact the NHS 24 helpline on 111.
“If the condition is immediately life-threatening, dial 999 for an emergency ambulance.”