Funding granted for day surgery refurbishment

Gilbert Bain HospitalThe Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick.

NHS Shetland has been awarded £1.4 million of capital funding to refurbish the day surgical unit in the Gilbert Bain Hospital.

The works would see more capacity created for staff to carry out ambulatory care.

Surgical day cases include treatment in areas like dental, gynaecology and orthopaedics, while minor operations can also be carried out.

The unit, located on the ground floor of the Gilbert Bain, currently has six trolleys but it does not have sufficient trolley capacity to support the day case/ambulatory workload.

NHS Shetland director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan told a meeting of the health board on Tuesday that the £1.4 million funding request had been approved by the Capital Investment Group in November.

The next stage in the process is to develop a full business case.

Carolan said the refurbishment would increase the amount of treatment that can be carried out locally.

“The finished facility will enable us to increase the range of procedures and interventions we can provide in Shetland and reduce the number of procedures that require the patient to stay in hospital overnight,” she wrote in a report to board members.

Chairman Gary Robinson hailed it as “really positive news” for the Gilbert Bain Hospital.

The average number of procedures per day on the unit is around seven, but the range is wide, with between one to 17 cases per day.