Operations cancelled as flu crisis deepens across Scotland

Sunday, January 14, 2018
By Paul Martin

HOSPITAL visits are being cancelled and hundreds of operations scrapped as the flu crisis deepens across Scotland.

Sun, Jan 14, 2018

It is expected the further measures will be implemented today after a series of high-level meetings are held to discuss the outbreak, which has led to the death of a Scottish teenager.

Non-essential procedures such as hip relacements and hernia operations have been delayed as the NHS struggles to deal with the rise in patients requiring beds.

It is estimated that 5,000 people have contracted flu, five times the number at the same stage last year. The situation is being made worse by the fact that numerous NHS staff, including doctors and nurses, have fallen victim to the bug themselves.

In order to reduce the risk of the spread of infection, some hospitals have been forced to close wards and even cancel visiting hours.

Nine of the country’s 14 health boards have had to reschedule operations to make room for the more urgent cases.

One senior health official said the service was now under “significant pressure”.

NHS Highland associate director Dr Ken MacDonald said: “These are not decisions that we take lightly but we need to manage these pressures to ensure that we are able to provide care safely.

“We apologise for the postponement of these procedures.

“We have seen an increase in the number of flu patients -coming into hospital, which is placing us under significant pressure.”

Weekly figures released by Health Protection Scotland showed an increase in cases from 46 per 100,000 people in the last week of December to 107 per 100,000 in the first week of January.

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