NHS Grampian has postponed routine operations amid concerns the number of Covid hospital patients could reach half of January’s peak in the coming weeks.
Rising case numbers across Scotland have led to relaxation of coronavirus restrictions across the country being delayed.
And once again, the rising number of hospital patients coupled with NHS staff needing to self-isolate has impacted on other medical treatments.
Now NHS Grampian has warned the number of Covid patients in hospital could reach half of January’s 133 peak – but stressed there was still time to avert the spike.
What is the impact of current Covid surge?
NHS Grampian says a combination of more Covid patients in intensive care and staff requiring to self-isolate due to being close contacts has led to disruption.
Increased absences have led to medics being redeployed to other areas to cover.
Meanwhile, the health board says more Covid patients in intensive care has reduced the capacity available for surgeries.
The health board has said a “small number” of operations have had to be postponed and apologised to those affected.
However, it has said worse may still be to come unless residents continue to abide by Covid rules, get tested and take up the offer of vaccinations.
A NHS Grampian spokesman said: “Looking at the weeks ahead, current modelling suggests we could see a significant number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations at 50% of the peak earlier this year.
“We would also likely to see a higher number of staff either ill or being forced to self-isolate If this happens, and this could impact on our service delivery.
“There’s still time for that to change. If the public come forward for testing, both symptomatic and asymptomatic; take up the offer of vaccinations; and stick with social distancing, mask wearing and other current guidelines.
“We could reduce the impact, perhaps significantly.”
Patient was 10 minutes from operation
Caroline Ironside, who lives near Macduff, had been due to get an operation an Aberdeen Royal Infirmary today.
The NHS worker was sitting with the anaesthetist and about 10 minutes from going under until staff were pulled from the procedure to be redeployed elsewhere.
The 47-year-old had been waiting for the operation for a year before finally getting the date.
She said: “I was gowned and ready to go and then was told that due to an influx of admissions last night the theatre nurses were to be redeployed.
“It’s very frustrating when you see some people who aren’t fussed about wearing masks and then there’s an increase in the Aberdeen area with Westhill.”