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Pressure eases on Dumfries Infirmary; NHS AMBER STATUS.

Kenny MacDonald Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary has stepped down from red status to amber.

The new hospital was forced to cancel some operations and postpone outpatient clinics due to an "extremely high" number of referrals last week.

It was put on red status last Wednesday.

But officials announced that the recently opened PS213million DGRI was moving down to amber late on Thursday afternoon.

However, NHS medical director Ken Donaldson stressed that the health board was remaining vigilant.

And he heaped praise on staff who he said had acted "above and beyond the call of duty" with many working extra shifts and changing rotas to help out.

Doctor Donaldson insisted: "While we have moved down to amber status, we are not being complacent.

"We are continuing to work hard to ensure we have the capacity in place to cope with demand and the increased numbers of respiratory issues and cases of flu.

"And we would continue to ask that people give thought to the best first point of contact when seeking medical assistance, with support available from the likes of community pharmacies as well as GP practices."

The hospital response followed a massive level of emergency department and GP referrals. Dr Donaldson added: "Continuing hard work by staff and support from the public has put us in a position now where we can move down from red status to amber status.

"We're extremely grateful to all the efforts by staff to deal with a situation which has seen us experience a dramatic increase in admissions as part of a national surge.

"Many have gone above and beyond the call of duty, taking on additional shifts and altering their duties.

"We are also very happy that the public have shown support and been open to our request to consider the best first point of help for medical issues."

Red status is described by the NHS as part of the hospital's escalation protocol and triggered when a department faces the prospect of a dramatic rise in admission numbers which exceeds available capacity.

Amber status signifies that there is a limited capacity available and action is necessary in order to meet projected demand.

Meanwhile, Dumfries and Galloway was the first area in Scotland to enter the "red zone" as one of the hotspots for the Aussie flu virus.

Symptoms are similar to the regular strain and people have been warned to avoid the hospital if they might have the illness.

Elaine Ross, from the NHS Infection Control Team, said: "It's a case of taking simple painkillers to ease the aches and pains and drinking plenty of fluids."

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NHS medical director Ken Donaldson praised staff for their response to the emergency

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Publication:Dumfries and Galloway Standard (Dumfriesshire, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 10, 2018
Words:449
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