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BREAKING: NHS Forth Valley postpone "number" of non-essential operations as Covid pressure bites

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Forth Valley health board are to postpone some non-urgent operations over the coming weeks as it aims to reduce the pressures on services caused by the Omicron variant.NHS Forth Valley confirmed the news this morning (Friday), saying the move would help to free up staff to help out with critical health services across the Forth Valley Royal Hospital site.The hospital is being impacted by a "significant increase" in Covid-19 infections, which has led to a high number of staff absences.It follows an Observer story this week in which the health board revealed that as many as 200 members of staff were currently off work for coronavirus-related reasons.NHS Forth Valley revealed the measure to cancel the non-essential operations will remain in place for between four to six weeks, with efforts being made to reschedule the postponed appointments no more than six weeks after their original date.It also claims the move will help protect vital emergency, cancer care and other critical health services, as well as providing cover for areas left short by staff absences.Click here for more news and sport from the Stirling area.NHS Forth Valley chief executive Cathie Cowan said: “Increasing capacity and Covid related staffing pressures are placing additional strain on already over-stretched local health and care services and we expect these pressures to intensify over the next few weeks."We have therefore taken the difficult decision to postpone some non-urgent operations in order to maintain critical health services."This will free up staff to support areas experiencing significant staffing shortages and increase the number of inpatient beds available to ensure patients who are seriously unwell can continue to receive the vital care

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