NHS Shetland Ethical Decision Making Sub-Group

To support staff during the pandemic, and in line with recent Scottish Government guidance, NHS Grampian has established a regional ‘Supporting Ethical Decision Making Group’. NHS Shetland colleagues are actively involved with this, as are counterparts from NHS Highland, Western Isles and Orkney.  This group is chaired by Luan Grugeon, a Non-executive Director of NHS Grampian and Vice-Chair of Aberdeen City Integration Joint Board, and it includes members from a diverse range of clinical, public health and social work backgrounds along with lay representation. 


There is also a local NHS Shetland Ethics Sub-group established to ensure we are fully represented at the regional discussions outlined above, and also so there is a forum to consider Shetland specific issues, for example patient transfers off island.


The groups have been established to provide ethical advice and guidance on a range of matters, with the intention of being able to offer timely ethical decision making on individual complex issues. For health and care workers in Shetland you can contact the local group through the Corporate Services email address: shet-hb.corporateservices@nhs.net. This will be monitored in normal working hours. An SBAR documenting the issue for consideration should be completed and sent to the Corporate Services email address and a copy will be returned to the referrer for storage in the patient’s record if advice is sought regarding individual patients.


In an emergency, out of hours, please contact Gold Command through the Gilbert Bain Hospital Switchboard on 01595 743000. They will determine if the matter can be resolved locally or requires escalating to the out of hours individual on call for the Supporting Ethical Decision Making Group. Please note our staff are playing into this rota but you may be contacting someone from further across the region.


All the relevant guidance, SBAR template and the Terms of Reference are available here:

Scottish Government Guidance

SBAR template

Sub-group Terms of reference