Hospital is at capacity
NHS Borders, which eased visitor restrictions from Monday, by removing the current visiting appointment system and re-introducing open visiting across the majority of wards, is, however, at capacity for in-patients.
Routine operations have also been cancelled this week, due to staff pressures.
Chief executive Ralph Roberts said: “Due to extreme pressures the Borders General Hospital is at capacity. Our beds are fully occupied and our emergency department is exceptionally busy, with a number of people requiring admission.
“In addition, Ward 9 at the BGH and Hay Lodge Hospital in Peebles remain closed as a result of Covid-19 outbreaks and we continue to experience high rates of Covid-19 related staff absence.
“In order to alleviate these pressures, reluctantly all planned routine operations have been cancelled this week.
"Affected patients are being contacted directly. Everything possible will be done so that urgent cancer and emergency surgery continues during this time. We are truly sorry to the patients affected by these decisions.
“This is a very challenging situation and our staff are working round the clock to care for their patients.
“Our surge capacity plans are in place and we can assure you that we are doing everything we can to make beds available and continue with planned operations as soon as we can.”
For visiting, all mental health inpatient areas now have open visiting with no time restriction, while all community hospitals and acute hospital inpatient areas will have open visiting between 2-7pm.
Women and children’s services (ward 15, ward 16, labour and Special Care Baby Unit) will be adopting a person-centred approach led by the patient and family.
A spokesperson for the local health board said: “In line with national guidance every patient can have two visitors at any one time. These visitors can be interchangeable meaning that a patient can choose to change who their visitors are if they wish (e.g. on Monday a patient’s sister and daughter could visit, then on Tuesday the patient’s sister and son could visit).
“Some areas may be able to accommodate multiple visits per day with up to two visitors each time.”