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07.03.18

Scottish hospital warns of ‘exceptional pressure’ after Beast from the East

NHS Borders officials have warned patients of ‘exceptional pressure’ on services in Borders General Hospital after extreme weather conditions last week caused travel problems and an influx of patients.

Dr Cliff Sharp, medical director at the health board, said the hospital had struggled to discharge patients, meaning beds remained mostly full, despite an increasing number of admissions, piling more pressure on already struggling services.

Last week saw Britain hit by the ‘Beast from the East’ a cold front which brought temperatures as low as -12°C and, coupled with Storm Emma, caused major problems for the UK’s infrastructure and public services.

“In the aftermath of last week’s severe weather, the Borders General Hospital is currently under exceptional pressure,” Sharp explained.

"The weather conditions last week meant that we could not discharge as many patients who were ready to go home as we needed to, and despite trying to catch up we are now experiencing exceptionally high demand in our Accident and Emergency department which is putting further pressure on bed availability in the hospital.”

He went on to ask relatives to come and collect patients if possible and help to free up beds for other people coming into the hospital.

He also requested that anyone who is unwell but not in need of emergency care looks to use other NHS services, such as GPs or community pharmacies.

Medway NHS FT reported last week that it had been forced to cancel a number of non-urgent operations at its Medway Maritime Hospital because of extreme pressure caused by the weather conditions.

The weather piled on to an already at-capacity NHS, with NHS Providers warning last month that bed occupancy was still at high levels despite the end of the winter period approaching.

Top image: Downhill

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