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breaking news

‘Urgent and essential patients only’ to receive treatment in Aberdeen

NHS Orkney’s interim chief executive has confirmed that only patients in need of urgent or essential care will be allowed to travel to Aberdeen for treatment, for the time being.

This follows the announcement by the First Minister, this afternoon, Wednesday, that Aberdeen is to be placed under a localised lockdown. This is due to a cluster of at least 54 cases, which are believed to be linked to some bars in the city.

In a statement, this afternoon, NHS Orkney’s interim chief executive, Michael Dickson said: “First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to lockdown Aberdeen after a cluster of 54 COVID-positive cases is a stark reminder that we are no-where close to finished with COVID-19.

“This decision will impact both NHS Shetland and NHS Orkney as many patients receive treatment at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

“I understand the concerns for patients travelling south and we will do all we can to minimise risk. We have well established processes in place to support patient travel and have been working with ferry operators and Loganair to ensure people can move on and off the islands safely. 

“What this lockdown means is that we will be sending only urgent and essential cases to Aberdeen and that we will need to review any currently planned treatments to ensure they have to go ahead. However, we will keep patients and communities informed as the situation evolves.

“The risk of COVID resurfacing is something we have been expecting and we are ready. We all need to keep washing our hands, adhere to social distancing, practise safe cough hygiene and, if any of us experience symptoms, we must self-isolate and request a test. We all have a duty to protect ourselves, our families and the most vulnerable members of our community by acting responsibly​.”