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Weather / NHS asks for patience next week as health services get back up to speed

NHS Shetland is asking for people’s understanding and patience this coming week as health services get back to up speed with appointments and prescriptions.

The wintry weather has disrupted health centres across the isles over recent days, with some having to shut early.

A service has been in place for emergencies, including help and support via telephone.

“Due to the weather, we have been running with fewer staff members across the organisation and it may take us some time to get back up to speed with routine appointments and prescriptions next week, but we will do our very best and only ask that you are understanding and patient during this time,” a spokesperson said.

“However, do get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.”

With icy conditions expected tomorrow (Saturday) before the snow thaws, NHS Shetland is also asking people to continue to support each other in the community and to look out for any vulnerable neighbours and friends.

Health and social care teams are continuing to contact clients and those known to be vulnerable and at risk.

However, if anyone needs urgent support contact 01595 744468 (10am – 4 pm) or 01595 695611 (out of hours).

It is the duty social work number, but the call will be passed on to the appropriate SIC or NHS staff.

NHS Shetland also sought to pay thanks to staff, partners and the community for their help and support since Monday.

“In particular we’d like to thank the coastguard teams for transporting our patients and staff across Shetland, also, to Viking Energy, staff from across Shetland Islands Council, the volunteers, and people with tractors, 4×4 vehicles and ploughs, and many more who have helped this week as without your support, we couldn’t have done it,” the spokesperson said.

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“Another massive thank you to all the staff, including nurses, GPs, AHPs, health care support workers, social workers, social care workers, staff in estates and facilities, and many more people who have stayed close to care homes, hospital, and more to care for our patients.

“To all the people who have swapped bases, worked extra/longer shifts, walked miles in the snow and much more – we say another thank you.”

Meanwhile the coastguard said its teams have been working part this week to provide assistance to partner agencies.

Over the last two days rescue teams from Sumburgh, Lerwick, Walls and Hillswick have offered 4×4 support to the police, NHS and ambulance service.

“Our coastguard rescue officers are trained to drive our fleet of 4×4 vehicles, amongst many other disciplines, and have all shown real dedication to their communities by responding day and night especially over the past few days,” a spokesperson said.

“They have delivered critical staff to hospitals, patients to key appointments, and supported our coastguard helicopter during incidents. Fantastic effort from all of our teams during terrible conditions.”

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