They released a statement following reader reports of extra beds being set up in hospital rooms; some patients being left in assessment bays for days; and rising numbers of cancelled operations.
A spokesman said: “Massive pressures are currently being experienced across the whole of health and social care within Dumfries and Galloway – but our acute hospital settings are under particular strain.
“We are seeing sustained high volumes of people requiring urgent attention. This comes at the same time as high numbers of covid cases within our communities continue to impact on staffing levels.”
But there was praise for staff, with the spokesman adding: “Despite these incredible pressures on our systems, staff who have worked under unprecedented pressure for the last two-and-a-half years continue to operate calmly and professionally, prioritising those most in need but with a recognition of the limitations of our systems.”
Explaining the situation with cancelled operations and extra beds, he said: “We have previously communicated that some scheduled treatments have very unfortunately had to be deferred as we prioritise those with the most urgent need. We continue to review our capacity on an ongoing basis.
“And we have also previously stated that some people may at times be required to wait longer than we would like to see their needs met when they attend our Emergency Departments for the very same reason of prioritising those with greatest need. Demands on our systems have also seen the implementation of contingency planning to accommodate the volumes of patients within our acute settings. This has included the introduction of additional beds into some ward spaces, having previously noted that this might be necessary when the volume of people requiring acute care is at its most pressing.”
Work is also taking place at the health board to tackle bed blocking and discharge those who no longer require immediate medical treatment.
Meanwhile, the public are being urged to “make the best use of all resources” to support theNHS as they work to manage these pressures.
The spokesman added: “The website NHS Inform and the NHS24 telephone line 111 are great first points of help, as are pharmacies and GP practices, but anyone who is experiencing any issue they feel to be life-threatening should immediately call 999.”