A local branch of NHS 24 is to be set up by the spring and the telephone advice and information service is recruiting Shetland-based staff this week.
NHS 24 has been working closely with NHS Shetland to develop the service, and is now seeking experienced nurses to answer the phones. The closing date for applications is Friday.
Nurses qualified to band 6 (staff nurse) level, who would work part-time for NHS 24 based in a local health centre, are invited to apply. They will work closely with their NHS Shetland colleagues.
The exact number of staff needed for the roll-out of the local NHS 24 service has not yet been established. A spokeswoman for NHS 24 said the work may appeal to nurses interested in extending their skills into telehealth or those who wish to supplement their current part-time work with the health board with a part-time role in NHS 24. The final number of employees will depend on how many hours each is able to work.
All nurses recruited to NHS 24 will undergo a comprehensive six-week training and induction programme split between Aberdeen and Shetland. This will begin on 14th February and will include taking live calls under supervision in the latter part of the training.
Setting up a local service is part of NHS 24’s ongoing commitment to expand and bring healthcare closer to patients. Similar schemes have recently been implemented in Orkney, Falkirk, Fife and the Borders.
NHS 24 Chief Executive John Turner said: “We are very much aware of the healthcare needs of communities in Scotland. This model of working is about healthcare professionals providing care closer to where patients need it.
“Patient safety will always be our first priority and the roll out in Shetland is an exciting development in how NHS 24 delivers healthcare as it will allow patients to speak to a nurse based in Shetland whenever possible.
“It will also enable closer partnership working with local health boards and can offer additional employment, training and development opportunities to staff.”
As a confidential telephone health advice and referral service, NHS 24 is seen as being the first point of contact for local out-of-hours services.
Patients can call upon a pool of specialist clinical expertise, including nurses, dental nurses, pharmacists and special phoneline advisers within Breathing Space.
NHS 24 works closely with local health boards, the Scottish Ambulance Service, A&E departments and operates the out-of-hours Scottish Emergency Dental Service, as well as running special helplines in response to local health alerts and offers a wide range of health information. It has three regional contact centres in Aberdeen, Clydebank and South Queensferry and local centres in Glasgow, Inverness, Dundee, East Kilbride, Kilmarnock and Dumfries.