Coronavirus in Scotland: 28 wards closed as hospitals report more cases than at height of first wave

Wards have been closed and non-urgent treatments cancelled in hospitals across Scotland as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

Forth Valley Royal Hospital. Picture: Michael Gillen.
Forth Valley Royal Hospital. Picture: Michael Gillen.

As of Thursday, six wards had been closed to new admissions in the NHS Lothian area, including in community hospitals.

Five wards have been closed in NHS Tayside, along with 27 beds in NHS Lanarkshire across three acute hospital sites.

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It comes after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed earlier this week that 17 wards across the health board had been closed, adding that hospital cases are now higher than at the peak of the first wave.

NHS Lothian confirmed that 37 non-urgent elective procedures had been postponed in order to increase focus on dealing with a Covid-19 response.

In NHS Lanarkshire 18 procedures have been cancelled and 22 new outpatients not admitted.

A “small number” of procedures have also been cancelled in NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

Some have also been postponed in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, although the health board was unable to confirm how many.

The three health boards with the highest numbers of positive cases in the last seven days – Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire and Lothian – all have wards and procedures affected.

Ayrshire and Arran, with 652 cases in the last week, has no wards closed but some procedures cancelled.

Tayside, with 372 cases, has five wards closed but no procedures affected.

In all other health boards wards remain open and those treatments which have been scheduled are still going ahead.

NHS Lanarkshire also said it is treating more patients with confirmed Covid-19 than at the height of the first wave.

Judith Park, acting director of acute services, said: “We currently have 228 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 27 beds closed due to Covid-19 across our three acute hospital sites.

“We are now treating more patients with confirmed Covid-19 in our hospitals, than at the height of the first wave of the pandemic.

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“I would like to remind the public that Covid-19 is causing severe pressure on our NHS resources in Lanarkshire. In fact, Lanarkshire currently has one of the highest rates of Covid-19 transmission in Scotland.”

Dr Crawford McGuffie, Medical Director NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said: “We are reviewing our operating schedule for the next few weeks in order to ensure that the high clinical priority operations continue, and to ensure that any other cancellation of operations is kept to a minimum.

“If this does happen, we will do all that we can to carefully co-ordinate this reduction to minimise the impact on patients and to prevent short-notice cancellations. It is important to stress that we intend to continue to offer surgery for cancer and clinically urgent patients moving forward.”

Dr Scott Davidson, Deputy Medical Director for Acute Services at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “The numbers of Covid cases are continuing to rise. We currently have more people in our hospitals with Covid than we did at the height of the pandemic earlier this year.

"It is absolutely critical the public follows the guidelines so that our extremely hardworking staff are able to continue treating all of our patients.”

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