Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

New mobile operating theatre for Orkney and Shetland to ease pandemic pressures

mobile operating theatre
Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick, Shetland.

A new mobile operating theatre is to be sent to Orkney and Shetland, allowing almost 350 procedures to go ahead on the islands amid pandemic-related delays.

The new specialist unit is going ahead with a £2.3 million investment provided by the Scottish Government.

It will allow doctors to perform elective operations on cataracts and orthopaedic joint issues – meaning residents will not have to journey to the mainland for their procedure.

The unit is currently open at Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick, where some operations that have never been done on Shetland before will be performed.

Procedures put on hold

Recent figures show that 111 patients in Orkney and 90 patients in Shetland were waiting for ophthalmology procedures, while 87 patients in Orkney and 74 in Shetland have been waiting for orthopaedic surgery.

Many non-urgent operations have been delayed due to the pandemic.

The recent increase in hospitalisations because of the Omicron variant has also put pressure on NHS services.

A mobile MRI unit has also been used to enable patients to have all appropriate scans undertaken before surgery in the additional theatre capacity.

That unit will remain open until June 2022, supporting additional hospital activity as the Gilbert Bain Hospital completes building works from April 2022.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “I am pleased we have been able to support the mobile unit in Shetland to provide additional theatre and MRI capacity to give island patients essential access to treatment closer to home.

“As NHS Scotland continues to deal with the challenges of Covid-19 this is a great example of innovation and dedication to the delivery of care.”

Diagnostics and Elective Care Lead for NHS Shetland Dawn Smith said: “By the end of the first two weeks of using this mobile operating theatre, we will have done the cataract activity we would normally perform in 15 months, reducing waiting times for new referrals from 18 months to under 12 weeks for most.

“This is obviously really great news for patients whose quality of life was affected by vision impairment.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in