Scottish Liberal Democrat and Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Health calling for a new hospital in Shetland. In her letter Ms Wishart asked the Cabinet Secretary to indicate ‘when Shetland will have a new-build hospital fit for the 21st century.’
The Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick, has been operating in its current form since 1961, enduring numerous extensions and re-configurations. Ms Wishart’s letter stated that the hospital had in the last half century ‘outgrown its space and 1950s design.’
In 2019 NHS Shetland’s Head of Estates reported that “the constrained site provides little opportunity for expansion and little or no variation to the layout possible in an attempt to come close to achieving the modern hospital requirements of today”.
Ms Wishart also pointed to islanders raising money for local provision, such as the CAT scanner and more recently for an MRI scanner. The MRI scanner is not yet installed and Shetland patients continue to have to travel to Aberdeen for MRI scans.
Ms Wishart commented:
“There has been a lot of talk about bringing Lerwick’s hospital up to scratch. I think the time for refurbishment and ‘quick fixes’ is over.
“We need a new hospital to serve the needs of Shetland now and into the future. The Scottish Government needs to invest in islanders’ healthcare, and those that provide it, now.
“The last 18 months have proved to us all just how important our health is. That’s why I’m calling for a new-build hospital fit for the 21st century.”
Notes to Editors
A copy of the letter can be found here.