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Health / Suspension of Glasgow flights won’t have ‘too much impact’ on NHS patient travel

NHS Shetland, meanwhile, has stepped up its recruitment of contact tracers in response to Covid-19

A Loganair Saab 340.

THE CANCELLATION of flights between Sumburgh and Glasgow over the winter is not expected to have a major impact on NHS Shetland patients.

Patient travel manager Yvonne Graham, however, warned this could change as more hospital services in Glasgow resume – adding that transferring patients from Edinburgh is “not ideal”.

Loganair confirmed on Thursday that it is suspending Glasgow and Inverness flights from its Sumburgh schedule over the winter due to low demand resulting from the pandemic.

Services will stop later this month before resuming again in March, although there will be some flights to and from Glasgow over the festive period.

When asked if the suspension of Glasgow flights will affect any NHS travel, Graham said most patients continue to be seen in Aberdeen.

But things could change as more services reopen in Glasgow hospitals.

“At the moment the cancellation will not have too much impact on patients travelling to the mainland for appointments and procedures as the majority of patients who are currently travelling are travelling to Aberdeen,” Graham said.

“However, as services provided by hospitals in Glasgow continue to be remobilised, this may change.

“We do still have the option of flying patients to Edinburgh for onward travel to Glasgow but this is not ideal.”

NHS Shetland, meanwhile, is recruiting new contact tracers as part of its response to Covid-19.

Contracts are being offered until June 2022.

The tracers will be the first point of contact for people who test positive for Covid-19, while they will also undertake phone interviews.

Contact tracing team lead Lisa Gray said: “The adverts published this week are in line with the request from the Scottish Government to ensure we have a robust plan in place for future contact tracing that may be required.

“This will of course be reviewed as we move through the pandemic phases.”