Shetland’s two psychiatric doctors, who were only hired after an extensive recruitment programme two years ago, have both resigned.
NHS Shetland has announced that doctors Martin Scholtz and Almarie Harmse have both decided to leave the isles and pursue career opportunities elsewhere in the UK.
The news will come as a headache for NHS Shetland’s already stretched mental health service.
In a statement released this afternoon, Dr Scholtz, the clinical director for the service, said the decision to move away from the isles was a difficult one to reach.
“We have enjoyed being part of the Shetland community, and the decision to move on was always going to be a difficult one to make.
“We are pleased to have experienced living and working in Shetland, and to help with the development of the mental health service.”
NHS Shetland says both doctors are keen to work with it to secure successors during their notice period.
We will do our utmost to provide a seamless service, and the remainder of the mental health team will support this. RALPH ROBERTS
Chief executive Ralph Roberts has stressed his determination to ensure the service is maintained.
“We will secure psychiatric input to the service, both in the short and longer term, for existing and new patients,” he said.
“We will do our utmost to provide a seamless service, and the remainder of the mental health team will support this. We are aware of the recruitment challenges for psychiatrists across Scotland, so we are competing with a number of other areas for these specialists. We will market Shetland’s attractiveness for both work and lifestyle.”
Meanwhile, interviews are taking place this week and next for a clinical nurse manager and a head of service position. NHS Shetland says it hopes to make announcements about those posts very soon.