NHS bringing in agency staff after latest Covid case

NHS Shetland has been forced to bring in agency workers because a number of its own staff have been told to self-isolate.

The move comes after a second member of staff working at the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total official number to 69.

NHS Shetland says it has “thoroughly completed” contact tracing for the latest case, and insists any close contacts are already self isolating.

Relevant staff are being tested as a precautionary measure.

The health board says it is seeking to restrict any possible further transmission.

Those staff who are working have been told to be extra vigilant about any Covid symptoms or general illness.

If there is any doubt, they will be tested.

NHS Shetland’s Director of Nursing and Acute Services, Kathleen Carolan said, “We are actively managing this situation.

“We have identified an additional case through expanded testing of hospital staff which is being undertaken as a precautionary measure.

“Because we have a number of staff needing to self-isolate, we will supplement our staffing levels with agency staff as required.

“If it looks as though this situation is likely to impact on any planned care, we will update people as quickly as
possible.

“We do not believe there is an increased risk to patients in the hospital; all the necessary controls are in place. These include strict guidance regarding the wearing of, and safe donning and doffing of PPE and the enhanced cleaning schedules that are in place in line with national guidance.”

NHS Shetland says Covid-19 is still a risk in the isles.

It has stressed the best way of preventing spread is to remain socially distanced, to wear masks in public places, and keep washing hands.

Anyone with symptoms, should request a test by filling in a test request form on the NHS Shetland website.

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