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Health / Health board seeks to fill four GP vacancies

Bixter health centre, which is set to lose the associate GP it shares with Walls. Photo Irvine Contractors
A GP vacancy at Bixter health centre remains unfilled.

PERMANENT recruitment of GPs to Shetland remains challenging despite some success with a new “rotational model” introduced two years ago.

NHS Shetland confirmed this week that four posts in rural surgeries remain unfilled although interviews for vacancies in Yell and Unst are planned for next week.

However a vacancy in Bixter has been advertised several times with no interest.

And a new vacancy in Brae from the end of July will be advertised shortly.

A new scheme to attract GPs to work in the north of Scotland on limited short-term contracts has had some positive results.

The Rediscovering the Joy programme offers retired GPs wanting to continue their skills and experience NHS contracts for 12 to 18 months to cover gaps in Scotland’s four northern health boards.

NHS Shetland primary care manager Lisa Watt said recruitment remained challenging.

“We have interest in rotational models but not in people moving permanently to Shetland, with family commitments and accommodation issues being flagged as reasons for not moving here,” she said.