Various NHS Highland sites face temporary admission restrictions due to staffing pressures.

A ward at Lawson Memorial Hospital in Golspie is the latest to go under temporary restriction, with similar measures being carried out at Portree on Skye and New Craigs Hospital in Inverness.

Extreme staffing concerns have meant restricting in-patients admissions as a temporary measure to ensure staff can deliver a safe level of care.

The board is pushing forward with major service change programmes underway in Badenoch & Strathspey, Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross, Lochaber and now Caithness in order to provide a safe, sustainable service in the future.

While these wide-ranging reviews are a step in the right direction the board is preparing to carry out a hospital bed strategy across Highland.

Senior charge nurse, Joanne Gemmill, said: “Despite being fragile, we have been actively managing the staffing situation over recent weeks to ensure all shifts were safely covered.  Unfortunately, more essential staff have gone on sick leave this week and we have exhausted all options to cover these additional shifts.

 

The Quiraing 10k was held as part of the Uig Gala on Saturday 19 August.

The winner was Andrew Grieve with an excellent time of 34 minutes and 37 seconds - also his personal best.

The full results are below:

The rain may have forced Kyle Gala-goers into the community hall, but it certainly didn't prevent the Clan Stunt Show from wowing their audience.

Cyclists, Ross and Danny, braved the wet weather to perform at the Gala.  

Three males were lost in poor weather conditions on Friday 18 August.

Skye Mountain Rescue Team rescued the three men, who were lost north-west of Sgurr Dearg.

 

Members of Scottish Mountain Rescue (SMR) were involved in 436 incidents last year, according to the national body's latest statistics - with August being the busiest month of the year.

A call has been issued for anyone looking to take part in a new BBC series.

The series will follow the lives of people who live in the UK but plan to spend the winter abroad.

Friel Kean Films are looking for anyone who is tired of UK winters and plans to escape for the first time this year.  Whether it's fulfilling a retirement dream or taking work overseas, they want to hear from you.  

For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0141 331 0318.

Kyle and Lochalsh Community Trust needs a new logo - and they've launched a children's competition in order to find one.

The Trust are looking for a logo idea that best represents the extensive area they cover.  

In order to help give the children some ideas and inspirations for drawing, the Trust are asking what makes Kyle and Lochalsh unique and special for people that live here?

They have invited anyone to post to their Facebook page names of places, wildlife and people; traditions; poems; videos - anything that reminds you of our area and what you would like to see on a logo!

There will be an opportunity for the kids to draw logos at the Kyle Gala on Saturday 19 August.  

However, the Trust will be accepting drawings until Monday 11 September.

All drawings will be then displayed at the local Co-op for about a couple of weeks.

Members of the Trust will be choosing the best logo idea at the next AGM, planned at the end of September/beginning of October.

Portree RNLI Open Day successfully raised over £6000 - all of which will go towards keeping the Portree RNLI operational.

The RNLI requires donations in order to function and the Open Day, held on Saturday 12 August, enabled the Portree crew to raise funds - as well as showing the public round their lifeboat.  

The Portree crew have extended their thanks to local businesses, individual supporters and the community for their help in making the day a success.

A visit to an ancestor's island home will precede the release of a book about that ancestor.

Liz MacRae Shaw told The Skye Times: "Alan and Barbara Squires from Australia are travelling to Rona on Sunday 20 August with some of their distant MacRae relatives from Portree.

"All of them are descended from Janet MacKenzie.

"She lived on a house on the shore at Big Harbour.  Her husband was drowned in a shipwreck off Rona in 1822.  For many years afterwards she kept a lamp in her window to help vessels in the Sound of Raasay.

"Captain Otter, the commander of a naval survey vessel, met her and wrote to Alan Stevenson, engineer to the Commissioners of the Northern Lighthouses.  Captain Otter recommended that the 'philanthropic widow' be paid for her efforts.

"In 1857 the Stevensons built a lighthouse on Rona and her light was no longer needed.  She emigrated to Australia with her son and there is now a large MacKenzie clan there."

The visit will precede the Skye Book Festival where Liz will be talking about her latest historical novel, No Safe Anchorage.  Liz, another of Janet's descendents, has written about janet and a young Robert Louis Stevenson. 

 

 

 

The Stromeferry Bypass will see more work taking place in Spring 2018.

The closure is intended to allow for work to remove unstable rocks.

Colin Howell the Head of Infrastructure at Highland Council stated that a significant rock removal had been identified, costing around £1M.  He continued that the work will require significant traffic management.  As yet, the Highland Council cannot be definitive about what traffic implications will be.  As yet, a road closure has not been confirmed.  

"With regard to the longer term solution the targeted STAG stage 2 will be submitted to Transport Scotland in the very near future, and the work that HITRANS have commissioned to review the viability of a long term road and rail sharing operation – which is currently ruled out by Network Rail, will be finalised late summer – this will inform whether this option can be reconsidered with regard to its viability."

It was closed by 10 significant rock falls between 1990 and 2012.  After a landslide in December 2011 the bypass was shut for four months.

The Highland Council is also looking at a long-term solution to the problems at the 1960's-built bypass.  Solutions to the problem include re-routing the road at an estimated cost of £85m, a bridge costing about £100m and a tunnel costing about £171m.

Concrete pouring for an EE mast took place today (Thursday 17 August) above Minginish Community Hall.

The helicopter braved windy conditions.

EE applied for planning permission for a new mast on the hill above Minginish Hall in 2016. 

Photograph by Nick Duffill.