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News round-up / Health board tops list, peatbog restoration day, archaeology weekend, bike trial raises cash

Lerwick's Gilbert Bain Hospital.

NHS SHETLAND is the best performing health board in Scotland when it comes to waiting times for musculoskeletal services.

Nearly 95 per cent of patients were seen within four weeks of referral in the quarter ending June 30 this year, with the national average only 49 per cent.

The Scottish Government target is a minimum of 90 per cent.

Musculoskeletal services, delivered through Allied Health Professionals (AHP), include physiotherapy, podiatry and orthotics.

NHS Shetland’s interim chief executive Simon Bokor-Ingram said: “While the number of patients in Shetland is lower than in other parts of Scotland, our AHP teams are small and tightly staffed.

To achieve 94.5 per cent shows a deep commitment and determination to ensure that patients are able to access the services they need as quickly as possible.”

A PEATBOG restoration day is being held on Friday to coincide with the global climate strike.

The event is being held at the Sandy Loch water reservoir in Lerwick from 10am to 3pm, with the day organised by Shetland Amenity Trust.

People can learn about the “valuable role peatlands play in tackling climate change and to get involved in restoring these incredible carbon stores.

Participants can meet at the South Road end of Sandy Loch at 10am to walk to the site or drop in at any time during the day. Participants should wear appropriate clothing and footwear for being out on the hill.

Amenity trust peatlands officer Sue White said that when vegetation is eroded and the peat is exposed to the elements it releases carbon, contributing to climate change.

“Much of Shetland’s peatlands are degraded and emit a huge amount of CO2,” she added.

“It is possible, however, to restore our peat bogs and the Shetland Amenity Trust, with funding from SNH Peatland Action, have been tackling several sites throughout Shetland.”

ARCHAEOLOGISTS from across to the world are set to descend on Shetland this weekend to discuss the isles’ heritage.

The weekend symposium is part of a four to five year project which will also look at the Western Isles and Orkney.

The project is led by the three regional archaeologists along with the University of the Highlands and Islands and it is funded by Scottish Archaeological Research Framework and Historic Environment Scotland.

The project will help to map out the priorities for archaeology for each island.

Shetland Amenity Trust head of engagement Sandy Middleton said: “Shetland Amenity Trust has been at the forefront of archaeology in Shetland since 1986.

“Since then, five new broch sites have come to light, the story of the origins of brochs has been re-written, and over 60 potential Viking/Norse longhouses in Unst have come to light.

“This may be just the tip of the iceberg so it is really exciting to have so much archaeological expertise here this weekend to help us consider our future approach.”

THREE charitable causes are set to receive over £1,000 each thanks to fundraising efforts at a recent motorcycle trial event at West Burrafirth.

Michaelswood, the Shetland MRI scanner appeal and Mind Your Head will share £3,300 equally between them, with cheques due to be handed over next week.

Aberdeenshire Bon Accord Motorcycle Club held the international motorcycle trial at the end of June.