BORDERS General Hospital has reached capacity amid “extreme pressures”, according to the region’s health board.

NHS Borders issued the update on Friday morning (July 28), describing the emergency department as “exceptionally busy”.

It asked people to ease the pressure by using services “wisely”.

A spokesperson 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.

“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.

“If you think that your condition is immediately life threatening you should call 999.

“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.

“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.”