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Health / New hospital project moves to next stage

Gilbert Bain Hospital. Photo: Shetland News

NHS Shetland is now starting an options appraisal for a replacement Gilbert Bain Hospital after getting the backing of the Scottish Government.

Director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan told a meeting of the health board on Tuesday that the initial strategic assessment to consider the replacement hospital has been approved by the government.

The government has given the health board funding for the options appraisal, which sets out the case for change.

It is expected that the appraisal will be completed by the end of the financial year.

The board previously heard that a replacement hospital could take seven years to come to fruition.

Accommodation has been factored into the planning, which is an early stage.

The Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick has been operating in its current form since the 1960s but there is little opportunity to keep up with modern standards.

Meanwhile board members were told that NHS Shetland is reporting a £700,000 overspend for the 2021/22 financial year.

But director of finance Colin Marsland said that due to Covid funding the board will break even.

At month 11 of the financial year the spend on locum and agency staff totalled roughly £7.2 million.