Scottish Liberal Democrat and Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart has launched an online petition for a new hospital for Shetland. Highlighting the 1950s design, little opportunity to achieve the modern hospital requirements of today and future-proofing island requirements, Ms Wishart is asking for Shetland residents to show the Scottish Government the strength of support for a new hospital.
The Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick, opened in 1961, has endured numerous extensions and re-configurations. In the last half century the hospital has outgrown its space and 1950s design. It’s been said 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 wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Health last month asking “when Shetland will have a new-build hospital fit for the 21st century”. The Scottish Government has since responded to Ms Wishart but did not give a concrete commitment for a new build hospital.
On the launch of the petition Ms Wishart said:
“Shetland deserves a new-build hospital fit for the 21st century. Let’s get plans off the drawing board and turned into bricks and mortar.
“NHS Shetland's staff and wider teams have done a fantastic job throughout the pandemic and before. I believe they deserve a modern hospital environment to complement the service they provide to patients.
“Shetland residents have previously raised funds for CAT and MRI scanners. With developments in the way services are delivered, and technological advances, I want the Scottish Government to take the lead of islanders and invest in the infrastructure needed.
“If you agree with me please sign the petition available on my website.”
You can sign the petition here.
You can read Ms Wishart’s Letter to the Cabinet Secretary here.
You can read the response from the Scottish Government here.