Health board reviewing staffing levels after 475 sign petition calling for GP to be reinstated

The health board has confirmed it is reviewing health centre staffing levels after almost 500 people signed a petition calling for a GP’s reinstatement.

NHS Shetland chairman Gary Robinson acknowledged receipt of the petition at today’s (Tuesday) board meeting and thanked all those who had signed it for their feedback.

The petition asked the board to reinstate Esther Mitchell at Levenwick Health Centre, where she was the GP principal before handing the contract back to NHS Shetland last October.

It is understood Dr Mitchell was moved to a zero-hours contract working as a “bank GP” – covering shifts across Shetland.

She left Levenwick on 23rd February and was instead offered shifts at Lerwick Health Centre.

Patient Genevieve Robertson launched the petition soon after Dr Mitchell’s departure.

She said Dr Mitchell was the”most fantastic, dedicated, caring and knowledgeable GP” and a “massive loss to the South End.”.

The petition, which wa signed by 475 people, also raised concerns about staffing levels at the health centre following the doctor’s departure.

Mr Robinson said: “We acknowledge that there are many people who have taken the opportunity to express their concern about the provision of healthcare in the South Mainland, and would like to thank everyone that signed the petition for the feedback.

“We also acknowledge the positive comments about the excellent care provided by Dr Mitchell.

“We remain clear that we are not able to comment on individual circumstances.

“We would however wish to assure you that we are monitoring access to clinical appointments and reviewing staffing levels both at Levenwick following the rapid transition to being a board-managed practice, and across all our primary care sites.

“We will continue to do this, and embrace the clinical and technological advances to maintain our strong performance regarding access to primary care and the quality of the care provided.”

The health board previously offered assurances about the level of service at Levenwick, stressing there was no shortage of appointments and sufficient cover in place.


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.