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Elective surgery in all NHS Ayrshire and Arran acute hospitals has been postponed as a result of the sustained rise in Covid-19 cases on the mainland.
Recent icy conditions have added to the pressure hospitals are under with a large number of people attending hospital with broken bones as a result of falls, which has placed additional demand on hospital beds.
Medical director Dr Crawford McGuffie said: ‘This phase of the pandemic is having the greatest impact on our communities in terms of positive cases, numbers admitted to hospital and sadly deaths. This is placing great strain on every aspect of the system.
‘To ensure we are able to provide care to the most urgent cases, emergency surgery will still go ahead and, where possible, planned cancer surgeries will also take place.
‘Our clinical staff will liaise closely with patients who are impacted and we very much appreciate the understanding of members of the public in these challenging times.’
Where emergency and planned cancer surgeries do take place, these are being assessed and scheduled by senior clinicians on a case-by-case basis. Some procedures may go ahead in a different location to that which was previously planned.
Dr McGuffie added: ‘Patients should be reassured their safety is our number one priority and we are taking all necessary steps to ensure any risk as a result of exposure to COVID-19 is minimised.
‘I would like to thank the public for their continued support at this time.’