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In brief for 24 June 2011

Raring to go

THE SHETLAND team have arrived in the Isle of Wight ready to start competing in the NatWest Island Games 2011.

The 82 competitors and 13 officials enjoyed a five hour flight on two planes from Aberdeen on Friday morning after an overnight ferry trip from Lerwick, aside from a handful who made their own journey from the UK mainland.

The opening ceremony with Lord Sebastian Coe of the 2012 Olympic Committee begins at 4.30pm on Saturday with the first competitions taking place the following day.

Speaking from Sheverto Copes Holiday Park, Shetland Island Games Association chairman Andrew Inkster said: “Everyone is here safe and sound and we’re raring to go.”

Dental update

NHS SHETLAND have said that they hope next week to be able to announce their plans for the future dental are of around 5,000 patients currently registered with the Allan Owen practice in Lerwick.

Patients have been anxious about their future after Mr Owen failed to sell his practice before his retirement in September, a situation that has been blamed on the health board failing to attract the finance to extend their dental practice at Montfield.

On Friday chief executive Ralph Roberts told the board that staff had been working hard to deliver a solution for the patients by the end of this month.

“I am confident within the next week we will be able to progress this and tell people what the solution will be by the time the practice closes in September,” Mr Roberts said.

Montfield consultation

THE HEALTH board are to start a public consultation on the future of the first floor of Montfield Hospital, which has been empty of patients for more than a year.

The top floor of the hospital was converted into an interim placement unit (IPU) in 2005 designed as a place to stay for elderly patients awaiting a care home place or to return home.

In July 2010 the ground floor of Montfield Hospital was opened as a temporary care home run by Shetland Islands Council, by which time the upstairs unit had been empty for two months.

On Friday the board heard that there had been no patients in the hospital since, despite the severe winter, and the path was now clear to open a consultation on closing it down.

The council and the health board are working closely together to minimise the number of people waiting in hospital unnecessarily.