Press Release - Halls of Residence to Accommodate NHS Clinicians

Halls of Residence to Accommodate NHS Clinicians


March 25

Extra accommodation for NHS staff working away from home during the Covid-19 crisis has been made available in the Anderson High School’s Halls of Residence. 
Additionally, the Viewforth Care Home in Burgh Road in Lerwick will be brought back into use to cope with a potential overflow of patients from the Gilbert Bain Hospital in coming weeks.
Some space in the Halls of Residence could also be used for patients if necessary.
This has been agreed by the Shetland Island Council, following a request by the Shetland Health Board to build in resilience around staff accommodation in anticipation of the looming Covid-19 emergency.

NHS Shetland Chief Executive Michael Dickson thanked the community of Shetland which, through the SIC, had made the facilities available.
“We have many doctors and nurses working away from home who need to be accommodated safely. The Halls of Residence is a facility that is much like an hotel offering modern individual rooms, with ensuite bathrooms, security and a dining facility. I know all our staff is extremely grateful for this offer.”

Maggie Sandison, Chief Executive of Shetland Islands Council said, “We are working alongside the NHS at every level to help the medical services support our local community, and I’m glad we have been able to offer access to our buildings to meet their needs. The staff, across both organisations, have worked incredibly hard to explore options and identify solutions under significant time pressure to ensure the NHS has more resilience.” 

The Halls of Residence has 102 beds across 80 rooms – some in shared rooms and intended for siblings from Shetland’s more remote islands.  Because of Covid-19 social distancing, rooms can only be occupied by one person.

The facilities are expected to be occupied by the NHS for at least the next 12 weeks and will be run as a managed care home and staff accommodation by the SIC (in an Education and Health and Social Care partnership) with NHS input as required.
The Halls of Residence will be in use from Monday, March 30.
Viewforth is currently being renovated and will be able to accommodate patients in a matter of weeks.