NHS Borders caring for 29 Covid patients

With the coronavirus pandemic growing daily in the region, NHS Borders said this week that it is considering its options in case more patients need treatment.

The Borders General Hospital at Melrose.
The Borders General Hospital at Melrose.

A third Covid-19 ward is now in operation at the Borders General Hospital in Melrose, with the Margaret Kerr Unit, the former stroke unit and ward 14 all having been reconfigured to treat patients suffering from the virus or suspected to have it.

With the number of patients continuing to rise, NHS Borders is preparing for an “unprecedented demand” on its beds.

However, a rumour that the large hall at Kelso’s Border Events Centre is part of its plans has been denied.

A spokesperson for the local health board told us: “In common with all boards across Scotland, NHS Borders is working on a mobilisation plan to prepare for an unprecedented demand on beds at the Borders General Hospital.

“Many options are being considered at this stage, but at present Borders Events Centre has not been part of those considerations.”

As of midnight on Wednesday, 29 patients confirmed to have Covid-19 were being treated across the local health board’s hospitals, with a further 24 awaiting test results.

Of those, six patients are being treated in theBorders general Hospital’s intensive care unit, all with confirmed Covid-19.

Eight people have now died in the region with the virus, but eight patients who tested positive for it have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

A consultant has warned Borderers that if they don’t follow UK Government guidelines to stay in their homes during the coronavirus outbreak, NHS Borders will be overwhelmed.