Sunday 14 July 2024
 11.4°C   NNE Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

News / NHS has lowest absentee rate, catering contract, no changes to heating tariff, electric vehicles demand

Gilbert Bain Hospital. Photo: Shetland News

NHS SHETLAND has the lowest rate of absenteeism of all health boards in Scotland, according to a new statistical report published on Tuesday.

The Data Group for NHS Education for Scotland shows that the average absenteeism rate for 2019 and 2020 was just 3.6 per cent, a full percentage point lower than any other health board.

With the first anniversary of the first local Covid case coming up next week, NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson said these latest figures demonstrated the sacrifices staff were prepared to make for the community.

“It has been challenging for everyone since that day last year but time and again I have watched how our staff have gone above and beyond to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our community; it has been humbling to be part of this,” he said.

“The NHS needs every cog in the wheel to work efficiently and to provide a top-class service – be it the person who answers the phone, mops the floor, runs errands or cares for someone in distress. Thank you to the NHS Shetland team for setting this remarkable example.”

SSEN Transmission, the company which will build the 600MW subsea cable linking Shetland to the Scottish mainland, is encouraging local firms to bid for an upcoming contract to provide catering for the onshore construction team.  

The canteen contract could run for up to three years and would provide catering for between 100 and 150 staff, the company said.

Darren Main, project manager of the project’s principal contractor BAM Nutall Ltd, said: “The catering contract is an important part of our day to day staff welfare. We are delighted to be able to open this opportunity up to local business and look forward to seeing the response.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News


The contract opportunity follows the multi-million-pound contact awarded to Tulloch Developments last month for the cable installation civil engineering works.

To find out more about the potential business opportunities and register interest visit

THE COST of heating for those connected to the Lerwick district heating scheme will not go up in 2021/22, the board of Shetland Heat Energy and Power Ltd (SHEAP) has announced.

The company’s executive director Derek Leask: “We all know the community has had a difficult time through the Covid pandemic which has effected many families and businesses.

“Although we have also suffered an impact in terms of reduced sale of heat our board feel that we should try and support the community and our customers by holding our prices in these challenging times.”

Domestic tariffs are currently 6.9 pence per kilowatt/hour along with an annual standing charge.

IT LOOKS as though the growing trend of driving an electric vehicle (EV) is particularly popular in Shetland.

Data released by MoneySuperMarket shows that the number car insurance enquiries for electric vehicles had more than tripled in the isles from 2019 to 2020.

In the second half of 2020 1.66 per cent of all car insurance enquiries from Shetland were for electric vehicles, MoneySuperMarket said – three times the Scottish average of 0.57 per cent.

The company also said the EVs have the lowest average premiums – nearly £46 cheaper than petrol cars (£673.61) and nearly £60 cheaper than diesel (£682.82)

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.