Highlands & Islands

Operations cancelled at Raigmore Hospital over bed shortage

Raigmore Hospital
Image caption Raigmore has been placed on red alert three times in the past 12 months

The largest hospital in the Highlands has been put on "red alert" after a shortage of beds led to the cancellation of operations.

NHS Highland said 21 procedures would not go ahead at Raigmore in Inverness on Tuesday. Nine were cancelled on Monday.

The health board said it was taking action to prevent the situation from escalating.

It expects to downgrade the level of alertness by Thursday.

Linda Kirkland, of NHS Highland, told BBC Radio Scotland: "The reason for the red alert is that we are anticipating more patients coming in than are leaving."

She added: "We anticipate this situation continuing at least until tomorrow and to have it cleared by Thursday."

Raigmore Hospital has been at red alert on three occasions in the past 12 months.

However, NHS Highland said the number of patients involved this time was higher than had been previously experienced.

The situation has come at the same time as a watchdog report praising improvements in the cleanliness of wards and equipment at Raigmore.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate said the health board had addressed all the requirements from a previous inspection, except one on operating procedures for mattresses.

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