Elective orthopaedic surgery resumes in the Highlands but health bosses warn of 'significant risks' to programme amid rising coronavirus cases
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Elective orthopaedic surgery for patients in the Highlands has resumed following a temporary halt last month due to the high number of emergency admissions at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
But health bosses are warning of "significant risks" to the elective programme due to rising cases of Covid-19.
A spokesman for NHS Highland said orthopaedic surgery resumed last week after a three week pause in activity.
"The temporary pause allowed for in-patient bed capacity to be temporarily redirected to meet the high numbers of emergency admissions to Raigmore Hospital," he said.
"During the period of the pause, reconfiguration of space within the hospital took place and created more bed capacity in the long term to accommodate emergency patient flow.
"The pressure on services has not gone away and is still being felt right across our health and social care system.
"Emergency admission levels at the hospital remain high and everything is being done to facilitate our elective programme continuing.
"However, looking at the rising prevalence of Covid-19 there are significant risks to the elective programme over the next few weeks.
"We are actively looking at ways we can continue to deliver elective and emergency care and minimise the risk of any further cancellations.
"We wish to apologise to all patients who we have had to reschedule for their operations."
There were about 2400 people waiting for elective surgery in the Highlands last month.