Mobile theatre will allow patients to undergo surgery closer to home 

A mobile operating theatre will arrive this week to address the surgical backlog that has grown during the pandemic.

NHS Shetland said the temporary Gilbert Bain Hospital facility would enable around 100 patients to undergo orthopaedic treatments, including joint replacements, locally, rather than on the mainland.

Cataract surgery and ear, nose and throat procedures will also be provided.

Following four weeks of testing and preparation, the procedures will be provided by a visiting healthcare team, between January and April. 

Director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan said it was “great news” Shetland patients would receive treatment safely, quickly and without unnecessary travel.

“Our local teams have worked hard over the last six months to support the visiting healthcare teams to put these new pathways in place,” she added.

“The project is a pilot and we would really welcome patient feedback to help with our evaluation of the visiting services, particularly patient experience of joint replacement surgery.”

The Scottish government has funded the theatre to help tackle a backlog in elective procedures. 


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