Terms and Conditions of Service and Practical Arrangements

NHS Terms and Conditions of service will remain in place unless otherwise advised by UK or Scottish Government.

Overtime/excess hours

  • Staff who are currently on protection and undertake additional hours will not have the excess/overtime counted in any protection arrangement.
  • Band 8 and 9 staff are now eligible for overtime payments to support working in relation to the current situation. Overtime should be agreed in advance with the line manager.

Annual Leave

Services will require to consider the allocation of leave subject to the exigencies of the service. Given the potential for a pandemic to cover a significant time frame, the non-granting of leave would be impractical although it is recognised that service constraints may impact on the numbers of staff available to cover leave requests. Where services are having difficulties in maintaining services it is anticipated that staff will work with the service to ensure patient care does not suffer and in such circumstances staff may be approached to voluntarily give up their leave in the first instance. It may be necessary to limit or cancel annual leave to sustain services, depending on current risk levels. Any cancellation or request for annual leave will be at the discretion of the line manager but this will be monitored at a corporate level. In such cases, staff should be given priority in terms of revised leave requests. Where staff have been unable to take their full annual leave entitlement to maintain services, the standard 5 day carry over of leave will be waived.

Study Leave/Training/Appraisals/iMatter

  • All study leave should be cancelled and no new requests should be considered under further notice.
  • All non-essential training has been cancelled.
  • Appraisals should be postponed until further notice.
  • The iMatter programme has been suspended until further notice.


  • Induction will be reduced to a one day, compressed essentials programme including fire, manual handling, resuscitation/other clinical skills and TRAK.
  • Arrangements are being made to deliver this induction programme on a daily basis
  • Staff will not require to book a place on induction and should be advised to attend the Comely Bank Centre or other designated location.

Non urgent business

  • All non-essential business travel should be cancelled. Staff required to attend meetings should consider whether they can attend by video or tele-conference.
  • Non-urgent business such as meetings, conferences and development training should be postponed.
  • Routine meetings may be postponed to ensure internal resilience.

Home Working

  • Departments should give consideration to the use of home working as a way to maintain the health of staff to allow their deployment into other service areas in line with existing NHS Lothian resilience plans.
  • Agreement of this approach will be taken on a department by department basis with consideration of the risk profile of individual staff members.

Working Time Directive

Every effort should be made to comply with the Working Time Directive although it is recognised that this may not be possible during the heightened phase of the flu pandemic. Any opt-outs that are agreed as a response to COVID-19 should be rescinded once the out-break is over and staff should receive any compensatory rest under NHS Lothian’s policies.

Staff should be reminded of the risks of driving when over-tired and where possible ensure appropriate welfare and rest breaks. The hours worked by staff involved in interventions, operating equipment and in key decision taking must be monitored to avoid excessive working even during a pandemic.

Junior Doctor New Deal Monitoring

New Deal monitoring for the six month period, February to July 2020 has been suspended.

Personal Protective Equipment

All staff will be advised of, and supplied with, the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the work they are undertaking. Compliance with these requirements is mandatory for their own and others’ protection. Further information is available at: http://www.nipcm.hps.scot.nhs.uk

Support to those working in NHS services

Tackling staff concerns will be vital. Clear and consistent communication, honesty and open discussion of concerns have been shown to be the most effective methods of sustaining morale. Counselling services and religious facilities may be in high demand due to the stress of the pandemic pressures and these are currently available to staff through the usual routes.


Staff are reminded that if approached by the media, they should contact their line manager. Patient confidentiality is of primary importance at all times.

ER Case Work

ER Case Work is being reduced to essential cases only. The ER Team are assessing cases which fall into these categories and correspondence will be provided to staff where it is considered the case should be put on hold. This is to ensure we are able to comply with social distancing requirements and the need for key staff to support the COVID-19 response.