Coronavirus / Hospital visiting hours restricted further to protect the most vulnerable

NHS SHETLAND has further restricted visiting times at the Gilbert Bain Hospital to help protect vulnerable patients from the coronavirus.

Following advice from NHS Scotland, health boards across the country have been asked to restrict hospital visiting to essential visits only. The new rules come into force with immediate effect.


The following visits are deemed essential:

  • A birth partner during childbirth;
  • A person receiving end-of-life care;
  • To support someone with a mental health issue, dementia, a learning disability or autism where having a carer not present would cause the patient to be distressed;
  • To accompany a child to hospital.
Gilbert Bain Hospital.

Director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan said: “Unless it is essential that you visit a relative in hospital we would ask that you do not visit the ward and instead phone or video chat.”

“There will be exceptional circumstances where a visitor will be allowed to see their relative in hospital but, if you have any queries, then please contact the nurse in charge of the ward before you decide to come in.

“We will relax these measures again when it is safe to do so.”

Hand washing facilities are based at the reception area at the main entrance, and all visitors are required to wash their hands before and after a visit.


Meanwhile, extra accommodation for NHS staff working away from home during the Covid-19 crisis has been made available in the Anderson High School’s Halls of Residence as of next Monday.

Additionally, the Viewforth Care Home in Burgh Road in Lerwick will be brought back into use to cope with a potential overflow of patients from the Gilbert Bain Hospital in coming weeks, NHS Shetland said.

Some space in the halls of residence could also be used for patients if necessary.


NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson said: “We have many doctors and nurses working away from home who need to be accommodated safely.

“The halls of residence is a facility that is much like an hotel offering modern individual rooms, with en-suite bathrooms, security and a dining facility. I know all our staff are extremely grateful for this offer.”


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