Covid continues to rage through hospital

Gareth Clinkscale, Director of Acute Services.Gareth Clinkscale, Director of Acute Services.
Gareth Clinkscale, Director of Acute Services.
NHS Borders chief Gareth Clinkscale said today that there are more patients in the Borders General Hospital now than there ever was, even during the pandemic.

It’s a stark message from the director of acute services at the local health authority, and one which emphasises the pressures currently being felt by staff at the hospital, which is once again at capacity.

Mr Clinkscale said: “We are currently experiencing extreme pressures across the health system.

"The Borders General Hospital is at capacity.

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"Our beds are full and our Emergency Department is exceptionally busy, with a number of people requiring admission.

"Covid-19 rates are also increasing quickly and we now have as many patients in our hospitals who have tested positive for Covid-19 than at any time over the last few years.

"This is a very challenging situation and our incredible staff throughout the system are working round the clock to care for their patients.”

Mr Clinkscale added that Borderers can help the situation by calling NHS 24 on 111 first if you have a medical complaint, before heading to the emergency department.

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He said: “They will signpost you to the right place to get the advice or care that you need.

"You may need to wait a while for your call to be answered or for a member of the team to call you back, but this can be done in the comfort of your own home.

"If you do need to be seen you may be given an appointment time to minimise the time you need to spend in the department.

"This also reduces pressure on our team.

“If you think that your condition is immediately life threatening you should call 999.

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“If your family member is fit to be discharged from hospital, please help us to get them home quickly when they are well enough by being ready and available to collect them or support their discharge to their next place of care.

"Please understand that we cannot always offer the preferred next place of care in the location that you would choose, and we may ask you to compromise. Working with us to accept this means that we can get the flow through our hospitals moving which helps avoid long waits in our Emergency Department."

He added: “If you are unwell please play your part and help protect yourself and others by staying at home and not visiting relatives who are in hospital.

“It's important to remember that with Covid-19 and other viruses still circulating, hand washing is the single most effective way to prevent infections from spreading. Please make sure you are regularly washing your hands with warm, soapy water to protect you, your family and those around you.”