Two more Scottish hospitals declare 'code black' with no spare beds amid Covid surge

TWO more Scottish hospitals have declared a 'code black', meaning they have no available beds, amid a Covid surge.

NHS Grampian bosses confirmed that Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in the Granite City and Dr Gray's Hospital in Elgin are both at capacity.

A recent rise in coronavirus patients, alongside higher than normal staff absences due to self-isolation and school holidays, has meant non-urgent procedures have been postponed.

And no A&E patients will be admitted to wards due to the lack of available beds.

Yesterday, Raigmore Hospital in Inverness announced a 'code black'.

Professor Nick Fluck, Medical Director at NHS Grampian said: “This is a dynamic situation, subject to change throughout each day.

“I can confirm that both Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Dr Gray’s Hospital have been at Black status (i.e. at capacity) in recent days.

“Choosing to cancel procedures or appointments is never a decision we take lightly; however it is our only option if we are to relieve some of the pressure and allow staff to concentrate on the most urgent and emergency care.”

Professor Caroline Hiscox, Chief Executive, added: “While we have not moved into full Civil Contingency mode, as we did at the start of the pandemic, we have ‘stood up’ certain measures to allow us to closely monitor activity right across the region.

"This allows us to quickly identify particular stress points and take action to relieve them. I cannot thank our staff enough for the work they are undertaking, especially in light of the very difficult experience of the last 16 months. 

Professor Fluck added: “I know it is distressing for people to have procedures or appointments postponed, sometimes at very short notice. I apologise to anyone who has been affected by this.

"We will work to reschedule these, but we cannot offer any guarantees at present about when this might happen. If you are accessing any healthcare services, please be aware delays are likely.

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"I would also make a personal plea to the public to make sure they go to the right place for advice and treatment. Community services like pharmacists, optometrists, and dentists, or self-care following guidance available on the NHS Inform website, may be more appropriate."

Professor Hiscox said: “I know people desperately want a return to normal and to have all their healthcare needs met, not just those related to COVID-19. I want that too.

"We have had such support from people in the north-east since the pandemic began and we are asking for it again.

BMA Scotland claim urgent action is needed to combat the "very high level of pressure" on the NHS, due to the recent virus spike.


Dr Lewis Morrison, BMA Scotland chair, told the BBC's Lunchtime Live radio programme that decisions needed to be made quickly regarding staff absences due to the requirement to self-isolate.

He said meetings were going ahead within the Scottish Government "with some urgency" on the issue.

Dr Morrison continued: "Within the next few days I think some sort of decision needs to be made to assure the continuity of healthcare services in areas under these kind of pressures. It's as urgent as that I think."

It comes as 21 Covid-related deaths were recorded in Scotland over the past week, up four on the previous seven days.

It means that as of Sunday, 10,189 deaths have now been registered in Scotland with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.

NRS director of statistical services Pete Whitehouse said: "The death rate continues to rise slightly but the number of deaths compared to the number of Covid-19 cases remains low."

As of Tuesday, 3,869,223 people had received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 2,774,136 had had their second.

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