Health & Social Care

Health Services

Fetlar is classed as a "non doctor" island, which means that health services are provided, in the first instance, by the resident district nurse. The nurse works in partnership with the Yell Health Centre, as virtually all Fetlar residents are registered with the Yell and Fetlar GP practice. A doctor from the practice attends Fetlar every second Friday morning for routine appointments. Access to a doctor at other times would require attending the health centre in the neighbouring island of Yell. The practice are aware of transport issues and will try and fit in appointments where possible to fit in with ferry times. The Yell Health Centre has a website which gives more information on services provided. You can visit their site at:

The only hospital in Shetland is located in Lerwick, 50 miles and 2 ferry journeys from Fetlar. For this reason, urgent cases are often evacuated by air. The hospital is able to provide a good range of care, but specialist cases are normally referred to Aberdeen or, occasionally, Edinburgh or Glasgow for specialist treatment.

Social Care

Shetland provides a very high standard of social care to its residents, with the local authority directly operating the vast majority of services, including care centres.

The level of care which can be provided on Fetlar is, to some extent, limited as there are only a few staff on the island. People requiring a high level of care will at present have to be moved off the island, either to sheltered accommodation or to one of the care centres in either Unst or Yell, where 24 hour care is available.