South Scotland

Dumfries Infirmary faces 'extreme' demand

Dumfries Infirmary Image copyright NHS Dumfries and Galloway
Image caption Staff are "working round the clock" to cope with demand at Dumfries Infirmary

Health chiefs have warned Dumfries Infirmary is facing "extreme" demand from people with flu-like symptoms and persistent coughs.

It comes after similar concerns about pressure on bed availability at the Borders General.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway said an upsurge in demand for services was being seen across Scotland.

It said work was ongoing to improve "patient flow" to deal with the increase in hospital admissions.

Infection control manager Elaine Ross said flu and other respiratory viruses were circulating in communities across the region.

She urged everyone to play their part in tackling the issue.

"Currently, the demand on our local hospital is extreme," she said.

"Patients are arriving at our emergency department and via GP referrals with flu-like symptoms and persistent coughs that may be compounded by underlying conditions.

"The flu vaccine is effective but won't protect against other viruses that are going round."

'Finite resource'

She asked anyone with symptoms to take lots of fluid and paracetamol and to stay indoors and rest until they felt better.

"We are also urging people to not visit relatives in the hospital if they are showing any symptoms," she said.

"It is vital that we stop the spread of infection."

Interim general manager Gail Meier said staff were "working round the clock" to assess patients and determine the need for admissions.

She said they aimed to ensure that people were "seen, treated and either discharged or admitted in a timely manner".

"It is a very demanding time for the health service and I take the opportunity to urge everyone to consider the use of emergency services as it is a finite resource," she said.

"Community pharmacies and NHS 24 offer help and advice as an alternative to attending hospital.

"I would like to thank everyone for their commitment over the past few weeks and 365 days of the year for that matter. It does not go unnoticed."

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