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One of the UK’s most remote nursing jobs available in Fair Isle

Publication: Shetland News

Photo of Fair Isle taken from above
Photo of Fair Isle taken from above | Photo by Shetland News | Licensed for use by Scottish Beacon | All rights reserved

NHS SHETLAND is now advertising for a full-time district nurse in Fair Isle.

The post is to replace the current nurse, who is set to leave in September. The salary will range from £37,831 to £46,100, and there is also the opportunity to receive distant island allowance and relocation assistance.

There will be a two-bedroom property available on the island for the new nurse to rent. Applications are open now and close on 3 September.

Fair Isle, which is halfway between Shetland and Orkney, is currently home to about 50 people.

The job advert states that: “The post holder will be responsible for providing care in both planned and emergency situations, acting as first point of contact providing effective nursing assessment and treatment during an emergency.”

Whoever fills the position will be responsible for all locals and any visitors, as there is no resident GP or other medical services on the island. It comes after two job vacancies on the island’s dedicated ferry, Good Shepherd, were announced in July.

The ferry crossing takes two and a half hours from Grutness, making Fair Isle one of the most remote places in the country. It is also accessible by plane, with various flights leaving from Tingwall and Sumburgh.

Loganair also recently relaunched the Kirkwall-Fair Isle route, and with the bird observatory set to reopen next year, there’s a chance to breathe some new life into the island.

One resident, Eileen Thomson, moved back to the island six years ago with her family. Like most there, she wears many hats, including admin for the Fair Isle Development Company, knitwear finishing and liaising with visiting cruise liners.

Thomson described the opportunity as “such a good peerie job”.

“Especially to folk working south where it’s really busy and stressful and there’s never enough resources, you get to come here and it’s such a gorgeous peerie place,” she said.

“You get to really look after [the locals] and really get to know folk… It’s a much nicer way of life, compared to if you’re working in a big busy hospital.”

She did emphasise that anyone interested in the job should do their research and that it is not the place for everyone.

“You have to be able to cope with bad weather in winter, with your plans getting changed… but it’s an amazing peerie community,” Thomson said.

“It’s a beautiful place, we’ve got a great school… a super island shop that sells everything you’d ever need.”

She finished by saying it would be the perfect job for someone self-sufficient, and that there would be plenty of work available if the new nurse had a partner.

“If you’re a handy kind of person, if you’re practical, you’ll easily pick up work here… we’re always needing good practical folk.”

Lynn Cleal was awarded OBE for her work as chair of the St John Scotland Public Access Defibrillator Scheme, which was inspired by the Garelochhead and Rosneath Peninsula group.

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