WARNING: NHS Highland issues alert about Raigmore Hospital in Inverness being 'very busy'
Admission to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness are being delayed due to a significant number of unwell patients being received over the last few days.
NHS Highland is trying to send patients home quickly but has appealed for relatives to help out.
It has also warned any patients with less serious conditions are likely to face a longer wait.
A spokeswoman could not specify any numbers.
She said: "Raigmore Hospital in Inverness is currently very busy with a significant number of unwell patients having been admitted over the last few days which is having a direct effect on the flow of patients through the hospital, and consequent admission delays.
"We are doing everything that we can to discharge patients who are well enough to leave as quickly as possible but you can also help us by helping your relatives or loved ones home. You can also help by making the right choice if you need healthcare advice or treatment and to avoid visiting the hospital if you have symptoms of diarrhoea, vomiting or flu.
"As staff prioritise dealing with the sickest patients, those arriving with less serious conditions are likely to face a longer wait. Instead, they should consider contacting their GP or pharmacist, or go to their local minor injury unit (MIU). MIUs provide excellent care for a range of less serious injuries and conditions.
"Our staff are working incredibly hard to provide the best care possible to those that need our help the most. If your needs are not a genuine emergency your pharmacist, GP or NHS 24 can help and may be able to see you more quickly."