Sunday 25 February 2024
 5.6°C   WNW Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Health / Permanent local audiology service expected to resume early next year

NHS Shetland is also raising awareness of mouth cancer this month

Photo: Shetland News

NHS Shetland expects to restore a permanent local audiology service in January following a successful recruitment campaign.

The health board has been without a permanent audiologist since June, and this has resulted in patients waiting longer to access the service.

A spokesperson for NHS Shetland said: “NHS Grampian and NHS Highland have been supporting us with occasional clinics enabling us to see urgent cases on a clinical priority basis.

“All cases are reviewed and those that cannot wait for the next available clinic in Shetland will be referred to NHS Grampian but this will be limited to the most urgent cases.

“For all other urgent and routine appointments, we thank patients for their patience and will invite them for an appointment at the next available clinic, based on an assessment of their clinical need.”

Meanwhile NHS Shetland is marking Mouth Cancer Action Month in November.

Mouth cancer cases are on the increase in the UK with over 8,800 new cases diagnosed in the UK alone last year.

For reasons not yet fully understood, mouth cancer is on the increase, with the incidence rising by 49 per cent over the past 10 years making it the eighth most common malignancy.

Mouth cancer campaigners are encouraging everyone to carry out regular self-checks at home, for any of the signs or symptoms of mouth cancer.

To support this year’s campaign, the public dental service is offering two free mouth cancer screening sessions for anyone with concerns, whether they are registered with a dentist or not:

  • Tuesday 7 November, from 6pm-8pm at the Dental Suite (Outpatients Dept), Gilbert Bain Hospital, Lerwick
  • Thursday 23 November, from 2pm-4pm at the Gilbertson Park Games Hall, Lerwick

Oral health improvement nurse Angela Hopwood said: “We are asking people in Shetland to be #MouthAware. Using this hashtag on social media will also provide further information about preventing mouth cancer.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

“Carrying out a 45-second check of your mouth just once a month can greatly reduce the risks of late diagnosis. All you need is a bathroom mirror and a decent light source.

“Mouth cancer, although not always, is often linked to lifestyle factors. These include tobacco use, and excessive drinking of alcohol which combined with smoking can increase the risk by up to 30 times.

“The full reason for this is not fully understood however it appears that alcohol increases the rate at which nicotine is absorbed into the oral soft tissues.

“Poor diets low in fresh fruit and vegetables are also a concern as is the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) which is transmitted through oral sex.

“Excessive sunlight is also a factor in cancers of the lip, especially for those who spend time outdoors like builders or crofters.”

She said to to reduce the risk of mouth cancer, people are encouraged to drink within recommended limits, and to stop smoking.

People can contact Quit Your Way at Healthy Shetland on 01595 807494 for support regarding stopping smoking.

Folk are also encouraged to eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, practice safer sex and wear lip salve with an SPF of at least 20 when spending extended periods outdoors.

“Traditionally mouth cancer has been most common in men over the age of 55, however, we are now seeing cases in much younger adults of both sexes, so it is vital that everyone is aware of any unusual changes within their mouth,” Hopwood said.

“Get to know your mouth, find out what is ‘normal’ for you and for anything unusual or of concern, please see your GP or a dentist urgently.

“What you should be looking for are any non-healing mouth ulcers that last longer than two to three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth or throat, any lumps, bumps or swellings or unexplained pain or discomfort or difficulty eating, speaking or swallowing.

“Often these may be nothing to worry about, but it is always best to get them examined. No doctor or dentist is going to think that you are wasting their time so ‘If in doubt, get checked out’.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 
Categories

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.