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Emergency operations postponed at Raigmore Hospital

By Gavin Musgrove

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NHS Highland has apologised to those whose operations have been cancelled at Inverness' Raigmore Hospital but stressed it was a last resort.

Health chiefs have said that continued high numbers of emergency admissions to the hospital over the weekend led them to delay some elective and even some urgent operations.

Katherine Sutton, Chief Officer for Acute Services with NHS Highland, said: “Rescheduling surgery is always a last resort as we know the disappointment this can cause, and I apologise to everyone affected.

"We are under extreme pressure and need to make beds available for emergency admissions.

“We are also taking other action to try and discharge patients who can be supported at home, and I would like to thank the relatives and carers who make this possible.

"There may be cases where people can be treated or moved for recuperation to one of our community-based facilities, so if you have a relative in Raigmore, it is possible you will be contacted about them being moved.”

NHS Highland said people can also help by accessing the right service at the right time by calling 111 to direct them to the most appropriate care.

Local A&E departments across the Highlands remain open for those who have a life-threatening emergency.

Ms Sutton said: “Please consider which service is best for you and this may help us provide the best service to the population of the Highlands. Unless you have a life-threatening emergency, please call 111 first for advice on the right service to access.

“Our staff and partners not only in hospitals but in all health and care settings are working incredibly hard to provide the best care possible.

"Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of high demand on our health care system.”

An NHS Highlands spokeswoman said there were a lot of ill patients coming in as emergencies but this was not related to just Covid or any particular other cause, and people staying longer in hospital.

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