NHS Borders cancels routine ops in January

Due to the increasing pressures NHS Borders is experiencing due to the continued rise in Covid-19 positive cases, the local health board has extended the cancellation of all routine planned operations until the end of January.

By Kevin Janiak
Thursday, 24th December 2020, 11:31 am
The Borders General Hospital in Melrose. Photo: Bill McBurnie.
The Borders General Hospital in Melrose. Photo: Bill McBurnie.

All such operations had already been cancelled over Christmas, but health chiefs say the continued daily increase of confirmed cases of the virus has meant they have to now prepare for a further increase in demand.

Urgent and cancer procedures will still go ahead during this time.

Ralph Roberts, chief executive at NHS Borders, said: “Taking this decision is not easy, but it is necessary to make sure that we are able to continue vital services during this challenging time.

“We continue to see a rise in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Borders and we must plan our services accordingly.

“I would like to apologise to those that this decision affects and I fully appreciate and understand how disappointing this must be.

“However, I hope you will understand that patient and staff safety is our top priority, including providing the highest quality of care and support.

“Winter places a great deal of pressure on health and care services every year, and that is without including the impact of this deadly virus.

“The actions we all take now will have an impact in the coming months, so please follow the rules.

“These rules are really important if we are to keep each other safe and allow time for the Covid vaccination programme to take place over the coming months.

“I would urge everyone to fully comply with the new restrictions within Level 4.

“This will be essential if we are to continue to protect our loved ones and also if we are to ensure that the health service is not overwhelmed.”