NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Petition against Shetland to Aberdeen patient transfer plans

Bob Birchall (left) and Ralph Roberts

Hundreds of Shetlanders have signed a petition calling on the health board to abandon plans to send patients to Aberdeen for treatment and appointments by ferry rather than plane.

NHS Shetland said in March it would use NorthLink as its first choice of travel in an effort to save £1m.

It would mean a journey of 12 hours by ferry instead of a one-hour flight.

A petition with more than 500 signatures was handed to NHS Shetland chief executive Ralph Roberts.

The health board is meeting next Tuesday to decide if the new policy will be implemented.

Loganair has offered to cut the cost of patient escort transfers, and there has been a commitment from NHS Grampian to reduce patients called to Aberdeen.

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