DENTISTS and opticians in the Borders have scrapped routine appointments - and GPs will only see patients when "absolutely necessary".

NHS Borders issued information on the latest developments today (March 25).

A health authority spokesperson said: "All GP practices in the Borders have suspended their usual appointment booking arrangements to help protect patients and staff. Practices and treatment rooms will now provide essential services only to patients who require urgent clinical attention via telephone triaging and, where absolutely necessary, via face to face appointment.

"You should not attend your GP practice unless advised to do so by your GP following telephone triage. Please only call your GP practice with urgent enquiries."

The spokesperson added that if anyone needs urgent care for a minor injury that they cannot treat themselves, they should contact their GP practice or, if the practice is closed, they should dial 111 to reach NHS 24.

Dentists and opticians can be contacted by telephone for urgent or emergency advice only.