Frontline staff in the north-east are continuing to feel the mounting pressures after announcing they were on ‘code black’ status last week.
NHS Grampian and NHS Highland continue to experience high levels of demand across health and social care services.
It has been described as a fluctuating situation which is being monitored closely by the health boards.
Raigmore Hospital, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Dr Gray’s in Elgin all entered ‘code black’ status last week as the rising Covid cases stretched health facilities to capacity.
‘High levels of demand’
This week, the health boards are still continuing to experience high levels of demand with hospitals under huge pressure.
A spokesman for NHS Highland explained that they had reassessed the position and no longer consider Raigmore Hospital to be on ‘code black’, despite the continued pressure they face.
He said: “A whole system approach has been adopted by colleagues to ensure we continue to deliver services to the most critically ill and vulnerable patients whilst managing the widespread pressures.
“Over the weekend we have continued to experience high levels of demand across health and social care services.”
He continued: “We want to thank all of our staff and contracted services for their hard work and dedication across all parts of the health and social care service through challenging times.”
On Monday it was reported that five people across NHS Grampian were admitted to intensive care. This is the first time since February 24 the health board has had Covid patients moved into the specialised wards.
A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian explained that they are avoiding using the term ‘code black’ because it is an ever-changing situation.
She said: “These are fluctuating situations which can change day by day. We continue to experience huge pressures on our system in both primary and secondary care.”
Demand on health and social care services reached unprecedented levels – with the number of people in hospital due to Covid at their highest since March.
Dozens of procedures and appointments were cancelled last week in an attempt to help alleviate the pressure.
NHS Grampian took the decision in an attempt to free up staff working on urgent and emergency care.
The board has been hit by low staff numbers as a growing number of frontline staff have been required to self isolate, while fellow staff take their annual leave or holidays.
NHS Highland were forced to mirror the move by their neighbouring health board, cancelling all non-essential procedures at the Inverness facility.
Out-patient activity was reduced to only involve that which is essential, such as cancer, diagnostic activity and allied health professionals.
Medical, surgical and clinical support teams are working to continually assess the situation and decide how to best treat patients while reducing pressure on the hospital.
Division general manager for surgery, Cameron Matthew said: “Please be sensible, be responsible for yourself and stay safe, the hospitals across the north – be it Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Dr Gray’s, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital or any of our community hospitals – are exceptionally busy.”