Work is currently ongoing to upgrade the theatre complex within Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
As this work has progressed unforeseeable issues have been identified within the existing building structure which has led to the necessity to cancel all planned operations.
An inspection carried out by structural engineers confirmed there are no structural issues but concerns have been highlighted relating to superficial cracks on some of the theatre walls within the main theatre complex. As a result, the clinical decision was made to stop all operations within the theatre complex until further notice.
Contingency measures have been implemented to ensure all emergency operations will continue as normal but out-with the affected theatre area.
Mr Ron Coggins, clinical director for the surgical division at Raigmore Hospital, said: “It was not possible to foresee this complication, but I am reassured that we do have a plan in place to get our theatres operational as soon as possible.
“The clinical team have also started to look at our patient lists to prioritise the work that we need to do once our theatres are operational.
“We are examining all theatre capacity across all sites in Highland and are also in discussions with NHS Grampian and others to see how they may assist.
“We are truly sorry for the disruption and concerns this will have on our patients across Highland. I would like to assure patients and the public that senior clinicians will be prioritising all cancer and other urgent patients. I am also content with the plan we have in place to manage all emergency patients.”
He added: “At this stage I can’t say with certainty how long these theatres will be out of use but it will certainly be this week and also into next week.”