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NHS Lanarkshire pushed to the limit as COVID cases continue to rise

NHS Lanarkshire is being “pushed to breaking point” as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

In a letter to staff, the health board’s chief executive Heather Knox described a dire situation with people visiting accident and emergency units on the rise leaving staff unable to cope.

As a result of the increased pressures on services the health board may need to “pull back on some of our elective care services”.

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A gold command meeting is expected to take place today where solutions will be identified in order to keep the situation under control as much as possible.

NHS Lanarkshire is the second health board to declare it is under pressure due to the rising number of COVID cases.

Yesterday, NHS Highland announced that Raigmore Hospital in Inverness is now full to capacity and that non-urgent operations were being cancelled as a result.

NHS Lanarkshire pushed to the limit as COVID cases continue to rise

In her letter, Ms Knox said: “The last 18 months has been one of the most challenging times for every member of staff across NHS Lanarkshire.

“I am extremely proud of each and every one who has worked tirelessly through the pandemic to care and support our patients and families.

“While the vaccination programme has given us all hope, the challenges caused by pressures on our emergency departments, rising COVID numbers and workforce pressures, are causing difficulties for staff across both acute and community services.

“I am aware of the pressure this is putting on everyone and want to offer my reassurance that we are working to try and alleviate this pressure.

“I have asked my team to both look at what we can do to release more staff to support and also sadly to consider if we now need to pull back on some of our elective care services.

“Tomorrow our senior team will hold a Gold Command meeting where we will identify solutions to the current challenges.

“A further message will be issued after Gold Command updating staff on some of the solutions we plan to implement as quickly as possible.

“In the meantime, I want to thank everyone for their continued efforts to provide the highest standards of care and support to patients across Lanarkshire.”

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