NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

New hospital considered for Shetland

Gilbert Bain Hospital
Image caption Gilbert Bain Hospital opened in 1961

A new hospital is being considered for Shetland.

The existing Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick opened 58 years ago.

An NHS Shetland audit said that while the hospital was "well-maintained" it could cost about £10m to deal with a maintenance backlog and bring the facility up to modern standards.

A property report is due to go before the health board next week which could see the process started for a case to be made to the Scottish government.

Gilbert Bain serves a population of more than 23,000.

A strategic assessment on the way forward is being recommended.

'Not fit for purpose'

NHS Shetland head of estates Lawson Bisset said an "intensive review" had been carried out.

He said of Gilbert Bain: "It's not fit for purpose and we need to do something. It's time to address it."

The report says the hospital "was designed and built in the 1950s and early 60s when health care building requirements were significantly different from today and that can be seen throughout the hospital.

"It should also be noted that the backlog maintenance costs will not deal with the issues of functionality, current location of services within the building, nor the size of the departmental areas, or patient privacy and dignity issues identified.

"The constrained site provides little opportunity for expansion and little or no variation to the layout possible in an attempt to come close to achieving the modern hospital requirements of today."

It is estimated a new building, if approved, could take more than seven years.

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