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NHS Highland cancels operations at Raigmore after hospital comes under pressure from emergency admissions

By Hector MacKenzie

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NHS Highland has apologised for the delays and asked members of the public to play their part in easing pressure.
NHS Highland has apologised for the delays and asked members of the public to play their part in easing pressure.

"Extreme pressure" on the Highlands' major hospital has prompted some elective and even urgent operations to be delayed.

NHS Highland said the "last resort" scenario of rescheduling surgery was down to continued high numbers of emergency admissions to Raigmore Hospital over the weekend.

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.”

People can also help, says NHS Highland, by accessing the right service at the right time.

It says calling 111 will help to direct you to the most appropriate care, which may be quicker and closer to home than attending an emergency department.

If necessary, you will be called back by a clinician, and same-day prescriptions can be arranged for a local pharmacy.

Community pharmacies and minor injury units are also options to help with minor illness or injury, it advises.

Local accident and emergency (A&E) departments across Highland remain open for those who have a life-threatening emergency.

Katherine Sutton added: “Please consider which service is best for you and this may help us provide the best service to the population of Highland. 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.”

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