The number of journeys to Raigmore Hospital from around the Highlands is set to be reduced significantly thanks to a donation by the Kilbraur Wind Energy Co-op.

      The Kilbraur co-op has announced today that they have donated £9000 to fund the purchase of a mobile ultrasound scanner which will be used at outreach clinics in Fort William, Thurso, Dornoch and Skye. It will also be used at the Highland Hospice, reducing the need for Hospice patients to travel across Inverness for tests.

      Training in how to operate the scanner will also be provided for four doctors.

      Co-op Chairman Colin Lawrence said today: “When the co-op was set up in 2008 by Energy4All Ltd, the wind farm’s developers, Falck Renewables, helped us to establish a fund to support energy efficiency projects in the local community.

      “With around 1500 people travelling to Inverness every year for day care, often travelling long distances and having to stay overnight, this seemed like a very worthy project for our support. The mobile scanner will mean patients across the Highlands can have their scan much closer to home which, as well as being far more convenient, will also cut down on the number of car journeys and benefit the environment.”

      The scanner will be used for diagnostic purposes and observing the progress of diseases, in many cases eliminating the need for invasive examinations or more expensive types of scan.

      Kilbraur Wind Energy Co-op was set up to allow local people the opportunity to buy a stake in Falck Renewables’ Kilbraur Wind Farm, between Golspie, Rogart and Brora. The co-op has 528 members, each with a shareholding between £250 and £20,000.

      All members receive an annual return on their investment and have one vote each in decisions regarding the co-op, irrespective of their shareholding.