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Nursing foot soldiers leading fight against Covid on remote isle​

Nurses Cara Donnelly (L) and Moira Westland (R) have been delivering vaccinations to remote clients.
Nurses Cara Donnelly (L) and Moira Westland (R) have been delivering vaccinations to remote clients.

Nurses on a Scottish island have been delivering Covid-19 vaccinations to remote clients on foot to reach homes that are not easily accessible.

District Nurse Moira Westland and Staff Nurse Cara Donnelly have been stepping out on Mull.

The majority of the roads on the island are single-track and narrow with off-road trails to access remote and rural properties.

The area the nurses have been tackling is surrounded by wilderness with high cliffs plunging to the sea with secret sandy beaches and rocky coves.

Ms Westland said: “My priority is keeping my team safe and reaching the most vulnerable residents here on the island as quickly as possible.

“The programme rollout has been a group effort with which we’re delighted to be involved. Residents can be assured that even with the winter pressures that we are determined to stay on target with the island vaccination programme.

Isolated beauty: Looking out over to Ben More, on the island of Mull, where some residents have to be vaccinated at home, accessed on foot.

“I really enjoy my job and delivering a wide range of healthcare our teams deliver. The vaccination programme is a really good example of challenges we have to overcome, due to the rurality of some of the residents living on the Island.”

Both nurses have been tackling the winter oceanic climate and terrain in the North Mull on foot when necessary, to ensure residents meeting Covid-19 vaccination criteria receive their jab.

Ms Donnelly said: “Moira and I both chose to be nurses because of the desire to help people and care for them in rural settings. I grew up in Barra and my nursing career took me to Glasgow to train and work, and in September I transferred to the Isle of Mull.

“I am relatively new to rural nursing and the complex challenges which can occur in remote and rural areas. Moira has been an excellent mentor and takes the lead on ensuring risk assessments are carried out to ensure our own daily wellbeing and safety.

“The people of Mull can be assured that we are surging ahead with the vaccine programme and with our extra layers and thermal wellies on determined to meet our targets.”

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