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Health / NHS to cancel some tests and procedures during next week’s airport strike

Sumburgh Airport in December. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

NHS Shetland says it has ensured that disruption to its services during next week’s airport strikes will be “minimal” – but some therapies, tests and procedures are being cancelled.

Sumburgh Airport will shut on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as Unite union members across the Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) network go on strike over pay.

NHS Shetland said it has put plans in place, in conjunction with HIAL staff, to ensure it is able to provide essential services for the community.

Air ambulance flights will be taking place so urgent transfers will not be affected, should patients need transferred south.

A spokesperson for NHS Shetland added: “We have ensured that we have essential equipment and supplies that may be needed over the three days, that we would normally have delivered by plane, and that any medication that is needed will be available.

“Some therapies, tests and procedures are being cancelled to ensure that we are minimising the risk to patients, with limited access to some of the supplies, equipment and transport we would normally have available at short notice.

“We have already contacted all those who have been affected by these cancellations and we are rescheduling the appointments.”

Most of the health board’s work will continue as normal.

Visiting consultants due to head to Shetland will not be affected as they are arriving prior to the airport closure.

The plans that NHS Shetland is putting in place are based what it normally does during adverse weather when transport has been disrupted.

Patients who have appointments at hospitals outside Shetland over these three days are asked to contact them directly to rearrange the appointments or discuss alternatives.

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