Guidance on Working from Home following announcement of 23rd March 2020

Information about attendance at work staff following tighter Government restrictions on 23 March 2020

Following yesterday’s stark government message to the country introducing restrictions on everyday life you may be questioning whether you should come to work or whether you can work from home. This very much depends on the type of role you have with NHS Shetland.

The NHS is a key service and the majority of roles are either patient facing or are working in support of those patients.  We need all the people who contribute toward the running of health centres and hospitals to attend work, not just the clinical staff but the vital support staff such as caterers, porters and cleaners.

As the situation develops teams may need to think about how they can stagger attendance and shift patterns to increase the resilience within the team. We can use the Attend Anywhere (Near Me) software to facilitate consultations, engagement with patients/clients and support sessions. Staff can also use telephone conference calls, WhatsApp or other messaging platforms to engage with others - these can also be useful to aid communication.

There are a small number of roles where people can work from home and they should endeavour to do so if the circumstance allows, but this must be in consultation with their line manager to ensure that all essential services in their area of business continue. Any staff working at home must be prepared to be redeployed at short notice.

For any staff where their core work has been stood down during this period they must volunteer their transferrable skills to their manager, if they have not done so already. Managers are linking in with a central redeployment team (extensions 3606 or 3081) that will co-ordinate redeployment aligned with these skills.

Managers may request additional equipment to enable staff to access systems remotely, however they should bear in mind that demand on our IT Department is extremely high and the team is working through requests, prioritising based on circumstances. In the first instance staff who can work from home must discuss with their managers and colleagues how they can best achieve this using existing team resources.

Remote access levels:

  •          To access the networked drives remotely you need: a computer or laptop and an existing remote access token. There may be people with this resource in your team that don’t currently need it or are lower priority – your manager will advise you.
  •          NHS Mail can be accessed on any device at any location, so does not require a remote working setup:
  •          Attend Anywhere ( can be used for remote patient appointments, but can also be used for meetings and discussions with colleagues. Again, this is available outside the NHS Shetland network. Help to get up and running with Attend Anywhere is available from the IT Department by making a request to the Service Desk:
  •          As part of the Office365 rollout there is a collaboration tool called Microsoft Teams. This software allows chat, file sharing, video conferencing and lots of other features to allow staff to communicate and work together from any location. The national rollout of Teams has been accelerated to support staff at this time, and again this can be provided to any staff member via the Service Desk.

Thank you

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