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Health / Brexit planning to kick into gear again

NHS Shetland is “ramping up” its Brexit contingency planning following the “political hiatus” after Boris Johnson was established as Prime Minister.

Officials have been engaged with organisations nationally to secure continued levels of “goods and services” and availability of staff.

And senior managers have been doing the rounds of health centres gauging the views of staff about how it is to work for NHS Shetland and to be based in the isles.

At a local level, contingency plans have been put in place around securing the likes of food supplies.

Interim chief executive Simon Bokor-Ingram said that contingency plans that had been in place for a while have been revisited.

Locally, the NHS has also been “making sure that we understand the profile of the workforce” and how Brexit “affects staff that may have come from the EU.”

He said that the NHS was there to offer support to staff who may have concerns and that it was important for staff who have been recruited from the EU to realise they are valued members of the community.

Bokor-Ingram added: “Clearly I have picked up on the continuing frustration from some of our staff from outside of the UK who have given a commitment to continuing to live and work in Shetland.

He added that Shetland as a community continued to “make people welcome and to make clear that we value their place in the community and what they contribute to Shetland. I think it is important that we continue to say that.

“We have continued to have a dialogue with staff through the usual management channels and through some of our interactions that senior managers have across the organisation.

“We have to make clear that we value and welcome those staff from outside Shetland and from outside the UK; that we value their contribution to Shetland and we very much value them remaining in Shetland.

“I think it’s really important that they continue to do that. As a small community we can really make a difference here in terms of how people feel about the whole Brexit thing.”