Staff self-isolating leads to shortage at Gilbert Bain Hospital

The health board has reported staff shortages at the Gilbert Bain Hospital due to folk needing to self-isolate. 

NHS Shetland confirmed the shortages today (Wednesday) – but insisted there was no impact on patient care.

Director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan said there was also no reason to believe there had been any increased risk to patients in the hospital as protocols had been followed.

“We will keep under review whether this will impact on our ability to deliver any of our services over the next 10 days and advise patients accordingly,” she added.

“There are now a small number of organisations, including health and care services, that the Scottish government will allow to consider exempting some staff who have been identified as contacts from having to isolate so that they can attend work.

“This is subject to very strict criteria and is only to be used where services cannot function because of the number of workers who are isolating.

“We have reviewed whether some of our affected staff, provided they meet the conditions required, are able to return to work.

“This is necessary to allow critical services to continue to be delivered.

“Clearly as a health organisation we are in a strong position to support staff in this regard, with excellent access to testing and well established and observed infection control measures in place.”

NHS Shetland reminded everyone of the importance to follow guidelines to minimise risk of transmission. 

Anyone with Covid symptoms must also self-isolate with their household immediately and request a PCR test. 

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