Health / Lerwick doctors offering reduced service amid staff shortage

Lerwick Health Centre. Photo: Shetland News
Lerwick Health Centre. Photo: Shetland News

NHS Shetland says its Lerwick doctors practice will be prioritising emergency appointments on Thursday and Friday amid staff shortages as a result of the increased number of Covid-19 cases in the islands.

Earlier this week the health board said it was encountering some staff shortages at the Gilbert Bain Hospital, which were not affecting patient care, as a result of people being asked to self-isolate.


On Thursday NHS Shetland primary cary services manager Lisa Watt said: “Our colleagues in the Lerwick practice are dealing with staffing pressures this week and as a result will prioritise emergency appointments on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th July.

“If you need advice please look at the NHS Inform website, which has an excellent self-help guide. Your local pharmacy can also help with minor ailments. We apologise for this reduction in service but please e assured that all emergency issues will be prioritised. Thank you for your understanding.”


There have been over 100 Covid-19 cases in Shetland throughout July. The health board reiterated that the best way of stopping spread of the virus is to “wear face coverings, wash hands, avoid crowded places and keep distant from others when possible”.

NHS Shetland is also encouraging twice-weekly lateral flow testing, and kits can be ordered online, via the phone or collected locally.

Anyone with Covid symptoms should immediately self-isolate with their household and request a PCR test. If the test result is positive the individual and identified contacts have to self-isolate in line with instructions from contact tracers, usually for 10 days.