Covid spike puts pressure on NHS Lanarkshire

A spike in Covid-19 cases in Lanarkshire has resulted in a number of planned surgeries being cancelled at University Hospital Wishaw.

NHS Lanarkshire chief executive Heather Knox said mounting pressures have resulted in the cancellation of some surgeries.

And Heather Knox, NHS Lanarkshire chief executive, is appealing for the public’s help in combating renewed pressures on the health service locally.

In a statement issued today, she said: “We have seen unprecedented levels of people attending our emergency departments.

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"Over recent weeks, we have seen higher numbers than we would normally see during the winter period and our staff are struggling to cope.

"We would encourage people to seek advice from NHS inform or NHS 24 on 111 before they attend A&E.

“We have also seen an increase in the number of people admitted to hospital with Covid-19 and this is an additional pressure while we are trying to recover services and treat those patients who need our care; people who have planned operations which we are desperate to do.

"We also have staffing pressures as we currently have staff who are having to self-isolate due to contacts out of work.

“These combined pressures mean that we have had to take some difficult decisions.

"Unfortunately, we have had to cancel a number of planned surgeries at University Hospital Wishaw for the rest of this week.

"These surgeries are in general surgery, day surgery and endoscopy and we are contacting the people who will be affected.

"This is not a decision we take lightly and I would like to apologise for any upset caused.”

With Lanarkshire this week listed in the top ten Covid hot-spots in Europe, it’s never been more important to make sure you’re fully vaccinated against the virus.

Six Scottish health boards were among the top 10 worst-hit regions in Europe, according to World Health Organization figures.

NHS Tayside had the highest rate but Lanarkshire, Lothian, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Fife and Ayrshire and Arran health boards were also in the top 10.

Drop-in clinics will be hosted in St Nicholas Church Hall, Lanark, on Friday (July 9), Thursday, July 15, Friday, July 16 and Saturday, July 17, from 9am to 5pm each day.

They are open to anyone aged 18 or over who needs a first dose or those who need a second dose and it’s been eight weeks or more since their first.

For advice on common ailments and where to go if further medical care is needed, visit www.nhsinform.scot. Alternatively, contact your local GP practice during the day for an appointment or over-the-phone advice.

Locals are also being advised to call 111, day or night, when they think they need A&E but it is not life-threatening or during out of hours when they are too ill to wait for their GP practice to open, or for worsening symptoms of Covid-19.