In June 2021, NHS Shetland published a ten-year Clinical and Care Strategy 2021-2031 which sets out how we plan to shape services to ensure that we continue to provide high quality care for our population over the next 10-20 years.

All health boards have now been asked by the Scottish Government to complete a review of all their facilities to identify areas for capital investment for the next 30 years to support how services will be delivered in the future.   

NHS Shetland will set out its requirements in a Programme Initial Agreement (PIA). This will bring together the ambitions of our Clinical and Care Strategy with a Property Strategy.  In order to develop this Shetland-wide approach, the PIA will include the Gilbert Bain Hospital project and an exploration of the needs of a number of localities and communities across Shetland. The focus will be on understanding the needs of particular communities in line with developing clinical models, changes in population health needs, as well as identifying the infrastructure necessary to support the delivery of those models of care.

The Programme IA will be developed by the end of December 2023, with submission to the Scottish Government in April 2024.

There will be a number of engagement activities held with communities, staff and groups of people throughout Shetland over the next nine months. Our aim is to enable everyone to feed into the design of the options which will be considered.

If you would like to participate or would like more information at any point, please get in touch with us at We are currently looking for people with recent experience of using our services and we would love to hear from you.


Public Engagement - October 2023 

You may have seen colleagues out and about in Tesco and the Co-operative in September asking members of the public “what matters to you”. This is part of the community engagement for the Programme Initial Agreement (PIA). We know that different stakeholders may have different perspectives on what is a priority for this planning exercise. For this reason, we have embarked on an engagement exercise where all viewpoints can be expressed, considered and a collective agreement made on the most important ones to everyone.

In September we asked members of the public to tell us about what is working well, not so well and what changes they would suggest.  We met people in Tesco and the Co-operative and visited the Cuppa and Quoys. 90 comments were gathered with a number of people stopping to chat for a longer time.

Almost a half of the comments highlighted areas to be celebrated including the service in Primary Care where short waiting times and great staff were highlighted. The Ask my GP and Video Conferencing services were seen as very good, offering the right support quickly and saving on travel time. A number of people highlighted the great service offered by the NHS, the hospital and staff in general.

There were about a third of the comments noted referred to areas of challenge or issues.


The availability of dental services, long waiting times and access to primary care made up more than half of the comments noted.  Travel to Lerwick and Aberdeen was highlighted as a challenge together with the provision of accommodation in Aberdeen. Comments around discharge from hospital and space and staff in Accident and Emergency were noted.

The people we met also had suggestions for improvements in the service. These included the following areas:


Young People

A group of young people from the secondary schools in the north of Shetland met and discussed what was important to them in health in general and digital services in particular.