NHS Shetland has finally confirmed that Bressay will be without a resident nurse this winter. Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has been pressing for the post to be filled since the previous nurse left in October and was first told by NHS Shetland that recruitment would begin in November. This week, the NHS Chief Executive said that there would be no recruitment until January, meaning Bressay will likely be without a nurse until March or April.
Commenting, Tavish Scott said,
“NHS Shetland have not been straight with Bressay people. We are now left through the winter months depending on the skills of the Bressay ferry crew for emergencies and without a nurse living on the island. People already have experience of phoning NHS call centres to be asked where Bressay is. I am very concerned that the inaction of NHS Shetland has left islanders facing a worrying winter.
“Many people are very worried by this especially the elderly. I could live with being told the truth in October when our previous excellent nurse left for a new job. But the NHS have not been straight with me or the people of Bressay. I do not find that acceptable. I was grateful to the Chief Executive yesterday for providing the accurate position. But there are community nursing vacancies across Shetland. Some believe these are being kept vacant to save money. I do not know whether that is true or not. But I am very frustrated about the manner in which Bressay is being treated by NHS Shetland.”