NHS Shetland

  • Location:  Shetland islands, Scotland
  • Size:  650 staff looking after the health needs of some 23,000 people spread across 15 islands
  • Vision:  Our Vision is that by 2025 everyone is supported in their community to live longer, healthier lives and we will have reduced health inequalities

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Shetland NHS Board is responsible for health care for a population of around 23,000. Local Hospital and Community Services are provided from the Gilbert Bain Hospital. In addition, visiting consultants from NHS Grampian provide out-patient clinics as well as in-patient and day-case surgery to supplement the service provided by our locally-based Consultants in General Medicine, General Surgery, Anaesthetics and Psychiatry. We have a progressive agenda within Shetland and work in partnership, not only with other local stakeholders but with the NHS in Scotland as a whole and NHS Grampian in particular. This is a beautiful part of the world, with a satisfyingly different lifestyle from the metropolitan centres. Those who wish to experience a unique life-work balance thrive here. The diverse nature of Shetland’s culture, the stunning scenery, the wildlife, even the local dialect, as well as the spread of different islands all make for particular professional and personal challenges. Shetland is a world where wildlife is truly wild, where otters and seals play in quiet coves, and the air is full of the sound of wild birds, crowding the jagged cliffs in huge and noisy colonies. There are regular sightings of Killer Whales and superb displays of rare sub-arctic flora.

About NHS Shetland

NHS Shetland is the most northerly Health Service in the country and a unique setting in which to develop your career. We are, of course, a small organisation, with circa 650 staff looking after the health needs of some 23,000 people spread across 15 islands. However, what we lack in size, we more than make up for by way of the tight-knit, highly professional ethos that characterises every aspect of our operations. Our job – your job should you care to join us – is to provide healthcare services to, and strive to improve the overall health of, the population of this most delightful part of the British Isles. As well as the Gilbert Bain Hospital there are Local Community Services, which are usually provided via GPs and Community Nurses working from one of our ten Health Centre and other locations including mobile units and schools. All in all, you’ll find a superb degree of professionalism allied to a practical, resolute approach to the challenges of providing healthcare in a northern island setting.

Working at NHS Shetland

What’s it like to work in the Health Service in Shetland? Well, the remote and rural nature of our service brings its own challenges, however you can be assured that the facilities and equipment are as good as any you’ll get on the mainland. Moreover, the friendliness and professionalism of your new colleagues will help you quickly to find your feet and feel at home in your new surroundings. And, to give you a better idea of what it’s like here, why not watch these video clips depicting the work and life of two of our GP and Dentist Colleagues?

See more videos below

Working in Theatre Working as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner Working as a Nurse Working as an Occupational Therapist

Living in Shetland

We cheerfully admit that Shetland is not for everyone – if you want to go on the underground train to a West End Theatre then we’re going to disappoint you – but for those looking for a less hectic pace and an indisputably higher quality of life then we should be on right at the top of your list. It is a land of many contrasts - rugged hills and flower-strewn meadows; large new houses and traditional crofts; ultramodern ships and small boats which can trace their ancestry back to Viking times. Islands which are distinctly Norse in character yet part of Scotland Islands with a fascinating heritage and a timeless quality. Watch myriads of seabirds over an ultramarine sea or the breathtaking loveliness of a reflected sunset. Listen to the sigh of the waves or the weird “drumming” of the snipe at dusk. Smell the heady fragrance of massed wildflowers or the evocative tang of peat smoke. Shetland is a place which is small enough to make you feel welcome, yet large enough to find peace and that unmistakable feeling of spacious freedom; a place of friendly, hospitable people; a place embracing both modern technology and traditional industries with a unique culture reflected in music and literature; a place where you can enjoy the long, light nights of “simmer dim”; where you can walk, fish, ride, swim... or just relax; a place which offers choice.

Geography 60º North

The islands of Shetland lie scattered like the pieces of an elongated puzzle some 93 miles (150 km.) north of the Scottish Mainland. The capital, Lerwick is 211 miles (340 km.) from the Scottish port of Aberdeen and only about 18 miles (29 km) more than this from Bergen in Norway and Torshavn in the Faroe Islands. The 60-degree line of latitude lies across the South Mainland of Shetland, passing through the small island of Mousa with its famous broch. There are over 100 islands ranging in size from the large island of Mainland (351 square miles/909 square kilometres) to the numerous small skerries and islets along the coast. The distance from Sumburgh Head, the most southerly tip of Mainland, to Hermaness at the most northerly tip of Unst, is about 70 miles (113 km). North of Unst lies Muckle Flugga with its lighthouse perched 192ft. (59m) above sea level; the most northerly inhabited island in the British Isles. Fair Isle is 24 miles (39 km) south-west of Sumburgh Head and lies mid-way between Shetland and Orkney. Foula, off the West Mainland, is about 18 miles (29 km) west of Walls.

Travelling to Shetland

Shetland lies at the crossroads of the North Sea and the North Atlantic, virtually equidistant from Aberdeen, Bergen in Norway and the Faroe Islands, and there are frequent, efficient air and sea services through Aberdeen. Most major airports and cities in the UK have scheduled flights to Shetland through Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Northlink Ferries currently operate car ferries seven days a week direct from Aberdeen to Shetland on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (via Orkney on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays) in comfortable, well-appointed vessels. There are also connections to Scrabster in Caithness (via Orkney). The ferry journey from Aberdeen to Shetland takes between 12-14 hours, leaving Aberdeen at 1900 hours direct (1700 via Orkney) and arriving in Shetland 0730 hours the following morning. The return journey similarly leaves Lerwick at 1900 hours direct (1730 via Orkney). In the summer an air service connects Bergen with Sumburgh Airport.

Useful Links

NHS Shetland Website
NHS Scotland Jobs and Online Application System
Shetland Islands Council
Promote Shetland