South Scotland

Borders General Hospital faces 'challenging' January

Borders General Hospital Image copyright Walter Baxter

A medical director has said January could continue to be a "challenging" month at Borders General Hospital due to pressure on bed availability.

NHS Borders issued an appeal last week to the public only to attend its A&E department in a genuine emergency as it worked to free up spaces.

Dr Andrew Murray said the weeks ahead could continue to see pressure on beds at the site near Melrose.

However, he said they would hope to see that ease as the winter progressed.

NHS Borders has also stressed that community pharmacists can give expert advice and treatment for common illnesses and ailments.

Dr Murray said the difficulties being experienced were ones they often encountered at this time of year.

"We usually envisage that January in its entirety can often be challenging," he said.

"There are illnesses circulating and there can be more people needing our help and assessment.

"That's when we tend to see historically that we have got challenges in seeing everybody in a timely way."

He said they would hope to see improvement over the next few weeks.

"We are coming off the holiday period now and we would hope things would start to ease," he said.

"But we do foresee it being a busy next few weeks."

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