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Health / Mobile operating theatre hailed as ‘fantastic’

Photo: NHS Shetland

NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson has lavished praise on the mobile operating theatre which opened its doors in Lerwick earlier this month.

He said the set-up is “phenomenal” and praised the care provided to patients locally after their operations.

The Vanguard operating theatre will be in place outside the Gilbert Bain Hospital for a total of 12 weeks.

It was brought to Shetland to allow more people to undergo operations amid a backlog of cases caused by the Covid pandemic.

Services include cataract and ear, nose and throat [ENT] surgery, while it also allows joint replacement procedures such as knee and hip operations to be carried out in Shetland for the first time.

Speaking at an NHS Shetland board meeting on Tuesday Dickson said the service has been “truly outstanding”.

The mobile operating theatre arriving at the Gilbert Bain Hospital in December. Photo: Jim Mullay

People have started having joint replacement procedures this week, he added.

Dickson said it demonstrates what “makes Shetland such a special place”.

NHS board chairman Gary Robinson said he had been contacted by a couple of people who had been unsure about having operations in the “back of a lorry”.

But he said a video prepared by the health board to advise people on what to expect put them more at ease.

Up to 400 people are in line to undergo procedures in the unit, which is funded by the Scottish Government, over the coming few months.