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The expected winter tsunami of medical cases is impacting hospitals in the Highlands and the Western Isles. 

First came Raigmore Hospital with a statement on Sunday November 21 which immediately impacted some Island patients.

"We have seen continued high numbers of emergency admissions to Raigmore over the weekend, which has led us to delay some elective and even some urgent operations," said NHS Highland.

Katherine Sutton, Chief Officer for Acute Services with NHS Highland, said: “Rescheduling surgery is always a last resort as we know the disappointment this can cause, and I apologise to everyone affected. We are under extreme pressure and need to make beds available for emergency admissions.

“We are also taking other action to try and discharge patients who can be supported at home, and I would like to thank the relatives and carers who make this possible. There may be cases where people can be treated or moved for recuperation to one of our community-based facilities, so if you have a relative in Raigmore, it is possible you will be contacted about them being moved."

Then last night NHS Western Isles also reacted, stating that: "in its efforts to respond effectively to urgent, cancer and unplanned care, (it) has taken the difficult decision to reschedule a number of non-urgent planned care episodes and appointments. Care and services for a temporary period will focus on and prioritise those who are most unwell and requiring urgent care."

Meanwhile, the latest update on Covid-19 cases from NHSWI Chief Exec Gordon Jamieson showed the recent rise in new cases was continuing .

There were 6 cases detected: 1 new on North Uist and 5 on Lewis (2 contacts of existing cases and 3 linked new cases).

"We had 1 additional case on south Harris that was unfortunately missed from an update at the beginning of the week."

NHSWI have a vaccination clinic today at the Western Isles Hospital: a drop-in event for both COVID booster and flu (for those aged 50 & over, unpaid carers, those with underlying health conditions that put them at risk, and NHS & frontline social care staff). The clinic runs between 12.30pm & 4.30pm and again between 5.30pm & 7.30pm.

Scottish Summary: 24 November 2021 
  • 3,080 new cases of COVID-19 reported
  • 41,801 new tests for COVID-19 that reported results
  • 7.8% of these were positive
  • 9 new reported deaths of people who have tested positive
  • 708 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 66 people were in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 4,341,224 people have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination
  • 3,941,715 have received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccination
  • 1,502,266 have received a third dose or booster.