BORDERS General Hospital (BGH) is facing "extreme pressures" as it reaches capacity and handles a "exceptionally busy" emergency department.

Today (Monday, July 10) the BGH has reached capacity, meaning there are no beds available for patients which need to be admitted.

In a statement, an NHS Borders spokespers said: "Due to extreme pressures the Borders General Hospital is at capacity.

"Our beds are full and our Emergency Department is exceptionally busy, with a number of people requiring admission.

"This is a very challenging situation and our staff are working exceptionally hard to care for patients.

"Please help us ease pressure by using services wisely."

Those requiring help are asked to call NHS 24 on 111 before attending A&E.

Staff with NHS 24 can advise on the best place to find help.

Anyone in a life threatening condition should call 999.

The spokesperson added: "Before you attend the Emergency Department please call NHS 24 on 111 first and they will signpost you to the right place to get the advice or care that you need.

"You may need to wait a while for your call to be answered or for a member of the team to call you back, but this can be done in the comfort of your own home.

"If you do need to be seen you may be given an appointment time to minimise the time you need to spend in the department.

"This also reduces pressure on our team."

In an effort to increase bed availability in the BGH family members are asked to help get patients fit to be discharged home.

"If your family member is fit to be discharged from hospital, please help us to get them home quickly when they are well enough by being ready and available to collect them or support their discharge to their next place of care," the spokesperson added. "Please understand that we cannot always offer the preferred next place of care in the location that you would choose, and we may ask you to compromise.

"Working with us to accept this means that we can get the flow through our hospitals moving, and offer care to the maximum amount of people who need it."