NHS Grampian has cancelled all non-urgent surgeries and procedures at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.
The health board has said it was “last resort” due to staff pressures and a lack of available beds.
This will allow the team to focus on the most vulnerable and those in need of urgent care. All routine and non-urgent procedures will be rescheduled.
In a post of social media, NHS Grampian said: “Please be aware that RACH is experience significant pressure on staffing and beds due to an unusually high number of referrals for this time of year. This means we are prioritising those children who are most sick.
“We are asking all families to be patient as their visit to hospital may take longer than expected – this applies to both appointments and unscheduled attendances.”
— NHS Grampian (@NHSGrampian) September 24, 2021
West Aberdeenshire MSP Alexander Burnett said the move showed the “overwhelming pressure” NHS Grampian is facing and called for more action from the Scottish Government.
He said: “This is yet further concerning evidence of the overwhelming pressure NHS Grampian is currently facing and highlights the impact it is now having on children across the north-east.
“The SNP Government have completely taken their eye off the ball and our health board is now having to take ‘last resort’ action to ease the extreme pressures.
“From ambulance waiting times and a lack of provision to a shortage of beds in our hospitals, it’s clear there’s a crisis and it’s imperative the Scottish Government gives NHS Grampian every resource they require.
“Heroic frontline staff are absolutely exhausted and children are now seeing vital procedures cancelled which is completely unacceptable.”
Audrey Nicoll, MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine said: “It’s not the situation that anyone would want to have with non-urgent procedures being delayed any longer than necessary.
“But I am confident, that at the heart of the decision is absolutely, the safety of children and that NHS Grampian will be working hard to mitigate the impact of the delay.
“Scottish Government funding is very much prioritising front line health services for obvious reasons as we come out of the pandemic and that will continue.”
Earlier this week, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine in Scotland warned of “unrelenting pressure” on emergency departments.
It concluded that a thousand more hospital beds were needed to help relieve the pressure.