Wishart asks Scottish Government to set out position on new hospital

LOCAL MSP Beatrice Wishart has added her weight to calls for a new hospital for Shetland.

She has written to Scottish health secretary Humza Yousaf asking the government to indicate when Shetland will have a “new-build hospital fit for the 21st century”.

The Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick has been operating in its current form since the 1960s.

In 2019 NHS Shetland board members commissioned an assessment of the hospital after hearing about the constraints the ageing building is placing on the health service.

Lib Dem MSP Beatrice Wishart.

There is little opportunity for expansion or variation to keep it up with modern standards.

A strategic assessment on the Gilbert Bain Hospital and its possible replacement is expected to be completed early next year.

Wishart’s letter stated that the hospital had in the last half century “outgrown its space and 1950s design”.

She also pointed to islanders raising money for local provision, such as the CT scanner and more recently for an MRI scanner.

The MRI scanner is not yet installed and Shetland patients continue to have to travel to Aberdeen for MRI scans.

Wishart said: “There has been a lot of talk about bringing Lerwick’s hospital up to scratch. I think the time for refurbishment and ‘quick fixes’ is over.

“We need a new hospital to serve the needs of Shetland now and into the future. The Scottish Government needs to invest in islanders’ healthcare, and those that provide it, now.

“The last 18 months have proved to us all just how important our health is. That’s why I’m calling for a new-build hospital fit for the 21st century.”

Shetland News