NHS Borders General Hospital have cancelled routine operations due to facing "extreme pressures". 

The chief executive of NHS Borders, Ralph Roberts, has said the operations have been cancelled as a result of the NHS premise, located on the outskirts of Melrose, being at "full capacity" - with covid outbreaks and staff absences also being named as a factor. 

"Our beds are fully occupied and our Emergency Department is exceptionally busy, with a number of people requiring admission. 

"In addition, Ward 9 at the BGH and Hay Lodge Hospital in Peebles remain closed as a result of Covid-19 outbreaks and we continue to experience high rates of Covid-19 related staff absence. 

"In order to alleviate these pressures, reluctantly all planned routine operations have been cancelled this week. Affected patients are being contacted directly. Everything possible will be done so that urgent cancer and emergency surgery continues during this time. We are truly sorry to the patients affected by these decisions.   

"This is a very challenging situation and our staff are working round the clock to care for their patients. 

"Our surge capacity plans are in place and we can assure you that we are doing everything we can to make beds available and continue with planned operations as soon as we can," he said. 

People are now being urged to ring 111 before attending the Emergency Department unless their condition is life-threatening, in which case they need to call 999. 

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