A call has gone out asking for health workers to return to practice to join an “NHS bank” of staff.
NHS Shetland says it will provide training to help professionals whose registration has lapsed as it prepares for a peak in the number of coronavirus patients.
Nursing and acute services director Kathleen Carolan said: “I would like to appeal to people in Shetland who are health professionals to ask if you would be willing to join our NHS bank and provide support to us during this unprecedented public health emergency.
“We will provide some training and orientation to get you back into NHS practice safely and offer ad hoc shifts or regular working depending on your circumstances.”
The offer is open to all health professionals including registered nurses, midwives, paramedics, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, radiographers, medical practitioners, dentists and biomedical scientists.
Interim medical director Brian Chittick said: “If you have lapsed your registration, then the regulatory bodies will be writing to all registrants who have left the professional register in the last three years.”
Anyone interested can contact NHS Shetland at email@example.com. The national contact number for those wishing to return to the register is 0141 2782719 or email firstname.lastname@example.org using “COVID 19 re-registration” as the subject line.
Meanwhile. further restrictions have been put in place for visitors at the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick.
Visiting times will be restricted to 3-4pm and 7-8pm every day and patients should have a maximum of two visitors per visit.
It is suggested that children under the age of 12 do not visit relatives in hospital but phone or video chat to them. In the maternity unit, visitors are restricted to partners only.
Ms Carolan said: “Some people are admitted to hospital with respiratory symptoms and they will also be tested for Covid-19. To reduce the potential spread of infection and protect patients who may be vulnerable or immuno-compromised we have made the difficult decision to restrict visitor access to all patients who are waiting for Covid-19 test results. We would ask that you do not visit the ward if your relative has been tested for Covid-19 and instead phone or video chat.”
Parents will continue to be able to stay with their children. Help will be available for any patients who need access to a tablet or phone to maintain contact with their families.
“There will be exceptional circumstances where a visitor will be allowed to see their relative in hospital who has suspected Covid- 19,” said Ms Carolan. “But if you have any queries then please contact the nurse in charge of the ward before you decide to come in.”
• Do not visit anyone in hospital if you have a fever/respiratory/cough or cold symptoms;
• Do not attend hospital appointments if you have a fever/respiratory/cough or cold symptoms;
• All visitors must hand sanitise when entering and leaving clinical areas.