NHS Borders has warned of long waits with beds full in all hospitals amid "extreme pressures".

The health board issued a statement on Friday (October 27), describing its emergency department at Borders General Hospital as "exceptionally busy".

A spokesperson said that scheduled operations could be cancelled at short notice to "maintain patient and staff safety".

The NHS Borders spokesperson said: "We are currently experiencing extreme pressures.

"Our beds are full in all of our hospitals and the emergency department is exceptionally busy, with a number of people requiring admission. If you do attend our emergency department you are likely to wait longer than we would want for you to be seen. If you need to be admitted to hospital you may also need to wait longer than we would normally expect before a bed is available in one of our wards. We are sorry if you or your family has a long wait.

"The situation remains under constant review. We are working hard to minimise disruption however there may be times where we need to cancel scheduled operations at short notice to maintain patient and staff safety.

"Taking these decisions is not easy but it can be necessary to make sure that we are able to continue vital services during challenging times.

"If you think you need medical attention please ensure you seek the right care from the right place.

"Unless it is a life-threatening emergency, before you attend the emergency department please call NHS 24 on 111 first and they will signpost you to the right place to get the advice or care that you need. You may need to wait a while for your call to be answered or for a member of the team to call you back, but this can be done in the comfort of your own home. If you do need to be seen you may be given an appointment time to minimise the time you need to spend in the department. This also reduces pressure on our team.

"Please remember that our staff are working as hard as they can and you will be seen according to clinical priority. Please be patient and polite.

"If you think that your condition is immediately life threatening you should call 999.

"If you are unwell please play your part and help protect yourself and others by staying at home and not visiting relatives who are in hospital.

"We are sorry to all of our patients for any disruption to their care and appreciate how frustrating this can be."