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    MP: new rules will make delivery charges fairer

    31 Jul 2014, 5:55 pm

    Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael says the UK Government is taking action to make delivery charges fairer.A NEW CODE of practice which online retailers will be expected to follow has been hailed as a “big step forward in the fight for fairer delivery charges” by Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.

    But the Scottish Secretary immediately faced stern criticism from independent Highlands and Islands list MSP Jean Urquhart. She claimed that by controversially agreeing to privatise the Royal Mail with their Tory coalition partners, the Lib Dems had placed in jeopardy the entire universal postal service.

    Carmichael was speaking after UK business minister and fellow Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson announced a new code for parcel deliveries which is designed to ensure delivery charges for consumers in remote communities are clear.

    ‘Critical situation’ at underfire surgery

    31 Jul 2014, 4:20 pm

    The shortage of doctors at Lerwick Health Centre is “quite shocking”, according to one councillor, who queried why the practice has had
    virtually no increases in staffing for years while patient numbers have soared.

    Speaking at a meeting of the special social services committee today, local councillor Amanda Westlake said that a third of Shetland’s population uses the health centre, and the pressure on GPs made for a “critical situation” which was set to get worse.

    Primary care services manager Lisa Watt said the centre had seven “whole-time equivalent” GPs, most of whom are part-time. This had
    only increased by one doctor since 2005, and there are now 1.73 vacancies. Last time a vacancy for a GP was advertised, it took a year to fill. At
    present one of the GPs is ill and another is away, and locums are being relied on.

    The practice has around 9,000 permanent patients, but this number increases by between 500-800 each year with seasonal temporary residents.

    This includes people from cruise ships – yesterday, for example, the health centre saw four patients from these ships. The figure does not include residents on the barges, who have their own arrangements, (although they may go to A&E).

    Ms Watt said that in 2005 the practice saw about 2,800 patients per month, whereas now there are around 4,000. This is due largely to patients with mental health problems and older people with multiple conditions “and that’s not going to change”.

    However the situation may be alleviated when four new advanced nurse practitioners, able to diagnose and treat 90 per cent of ailments, are recruited.

    Ms Watt also confirmed the service is speaking to the Scottish government for funding for additional early morning or evening consultation hours.

    She added that the new Scalloway health centre will have capacity for 4,000 patients – currently it has just over 2,000 – and residents in areas such as Quarff will be offered the chance of going there to further reduce pressure on Lerwick

    Specials man to visit, while Shannon returns

    31 Jul 2014, 4:14 pm

    Neville Staple, a founding member of The Specials, is bound for Shetland.ONE OF the founding members of seminal 1970s ska band The Specials, Neville Staple, is to play a show in Shetland this Hallowe’en.

    Local promoters Klub Revolution and Oceana have teamed up with Shetland Arts to lay on the 31 October concert at Mareel with the Neville Staple Band. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Friday).

    Another rise in Lerwick Harbour activity

    31 Jul 2014, 9:53 am

    The Celebrity Infinity, which arrived in Lerwick Harbour on Thursday. Photo: ShetnewsLERWICK Harbour has seen an eight per cent rise in all activity in the first six months of 2014 thanks to increases in cargo, passenger numbers and mackerel landings.

    The harbour continues to thrive thanks to a boom in the oil and gas industry - including the presence of several accommodation ships to house those working on the construction site for Total's new gas plant - and a healthy trade in visiting cruise ships. 

    Appeal over housebreaking

    30 Jul 2014, 5:11 pm

    Police are appealing for information about a housebreaking that took place in Grodians, Lerwick, on Tuesday.

    The house was broken into between 11am and 4pm, and numerous items including jewellery and electrical equipment were stolen.

    Police officers are keen to speak to anyone with knowledge of this incident, or who saw any person acting suspiciously in the area. Officers would also like to hear about any person who has recently taken receipt of electrical equipment or jewellery.

    If anyone has any information about the incident they should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online .

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