Two wards now caring for 14 patients with Covid-19 symptoms at Borders General Hospital

Two wards at the Borders General Hospital are now being used to care for 14 inpatients who have tested positive for coronavirus, or are suspected to have it.

By Kevin Janiak
Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 4:50 pm
Borders General Hospital.
Borders General Hospital.

The news comes as the Borders remains at Level 2 of the Scottish Government’s multi-tier system, as the number of confirmed cases over the past few weeks remain “stubbornly high”.

There has been an additional 68 confirmed cases of the virus reported in the seven days since Tuesday, November 17, which includes 13 tenants and 11 members of staff who positive for coronavirus at the Dovecot Court assisted living complex in Peebles.

Associate director of public health at NHS Borders, Dr Keith Allan, warned Borderers against complacency.

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He said: “The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Borders remains a cause for concern.

“I know that people may look at the figures and think that they are low in relation to the size of our population, however, I cannot stress enough how important it is that complacency does not set in.

“The reality is that there are now twice as many people in the BGH with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 than there were at the beginning of last week, with two wards dedicated to care for these patients.

“If numbers continue to increase at this rate there will be an impact on the delivery of health and care services.

“Whilst we are prepared for this, it is really important that everyone plays their part and follows all of the guidelines and restrictions that are in place.

“This gives us the best chance that we have to slow the spread, minimise any further impact on our daily lives and protect the most vulnerable members of our community. If people put their own twist on the rules, they won’t work and we risk moving into a higher tier which we all want to avoid.”

Visiting at Dovecot Court has been temporarily suspended following the outbreak there.

The facility, run by Eildon Housing, comprises of 37 self-contained two-bedroom flats, used for housing with care, assisted living, close care and continuing care.

A joint statement issued by Scottish Borders Council, Eildon Housing and NHS Borders claims the tenants, their families and staff are being supported through the ongoing provision of care services and additional support such as meal provision, grocery shopping, and cleaning and laundry services.

Jen Holland, chief operating officer at SB Cares, which supplies the care staff for the facility, said: “We have robust contingency plans in place to ensure that our ongoing service provision to clients in Dovecot Court is maintained throughout this ongoing incident and that we can continue to safely support all tenants.

“We continue to communicate regularly with tenants and families and would like to thank them for their ongoing support and co-operation.

“There is no impact on any other SB Cares services in the Tweeddale area.”

Nile Istephan, chief executive of Eildon Housing, added: “Eildon Housing is working extremely closely with the various partners to respond to this ongoing incident and ensure that all our tenants at Dovecot Court are provided with any support that is required at this challenging time.”

Borders are being urged to remain vigilant for the symptoms of Covid-19, which are a new continuous cough, a fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater) and /or a loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste.

Tim Patterson, director of public health at NHS Borders, said: “If you develop these symptoms you should self-isolate immediately and visit NHS Inform or phone 0800 028 2816 to book a test.

“Whilst you wait for your test all of your household members must self-isolate.

“This is really important to prevent potential spread of this highly contagious virus.”

Borderers can book a test either by going online to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or calling 0800 028 2816.