NHS Orkney's vision is to offer everyone in Orkney access to a NHS that helps them to keep well and provides them with high quality care when it is needed whilst employing a skilled and committed local workforce who are proud to work for NHS Orkney.
The challenges of being the smallest health board in Scotland are immense. Not only does NHS Orkney have to adhere to the same guidelines as other larger territorial boards, but there are limitations on flexibility due to our extremely tight budget.
Delivering top quality patient care under severe financial constraints has been the hallmark of NHS Orkney in recent years. This has been achieved thanks to the innovative and tireless efforts of our professional staff and the strict governance over what we do by our diligent board members.
As a result, NHS Orkney, alongside its public sector partner Orkney Islands Council, provides two of the vital pillars that support the thriving economy of Orkney today.
Lying off the north-east coast of Scotland, between John O'Groats and the Shetland Isles, Orkney is an archipelago of over 70 islands, 17 of which are inhabited.
The total population of Orkney is just under 20,000 with most people living on Mainland, the main island. Kirkwall, the capital, with a population of 7,500, is the administrative centre of Orkney with a good mix of shops, supermarkets and small local businesses. The smaller town of Stromness, with a population of 2,500, is situated to the West of the Mainland. Both towns are famed for their picturesque main streets, and both are terminals for Northlink Ferries.
The main occupation of the people is farming, the landscape reflecting the hard work of generations of farmers and the fertility of the land. Farm houses and steadings have been modernised, and there is a high level of mechanisation. Most farmers breed and rear beef cattle of the highest standard, although dairy cows and sheep are also kept. Agriculture is the main industry of the islands and generates some £30 million per year, followed closely by tourism and oil. And fishermen compete with seals and sea birds to enjoy something of the rich bounty provided by the surrounding seas.Orkney is at the forefront of the renewable energy drive in the UK. Wind turbines are dotted around the islands and wave energy research is on-going.
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