Tavish calls for backup to prevent 999 services disruption


After the communication problems that left much of Sheltand without communications for 5 hours on Saturday and resulted in NHS Shetland having to inform people to attend Gilbert Bain Hospital in person and the Shetland Cost Guard without contact to the mainland, and in addition the closure of Sumburgh airport leading to the cancellation of 11 flights Tavish Scott has called for back up to prevent 999 services disruption in the future. 

Commenting on Saturday's (25th) communications breakdown apparently caused by a blown fuse in a BT transmitter in Orkney, Tavish Scott said

"It is completely unacceptable for Shetland to be without emergency communications. If the reason as a blown fuse at a BT Orkney transmitter then why was there no back up? The NHS advised people not to phone 999 but instead go to Lewick's Gilbert Bain Hospital. The coastguard had no radio or phone communications to the Scottish mainland and flights into Sumburgh were suspended.

"Shetland was in short cut off because of a fuse. This is the 21st century. There has to be a back up. Shetland will expect a full explanation from BT. We will want to know what the emergency services and the NHS are now doing to ensure they do not depend on a communications system that failed. There are major questions to answer. I will also be raising this with the Scottish Government given their responsibilities for emergency service cover."


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