Getting Involved

We want to make sure we are listening to you and taking account of your views. There are a number of different ways you can get involved or provide feedback to us. You can attend any of our public meetings, volunteer or become a patient representative on one of our disease specific groups such as diabetes or stroke.

You can also provide us with feedback through a number of routes including the Patient Opinion website

Patient Focus Public Involvement

Patient Focus Public Involvement (PFPI) is about everyone working together to improve the way local health services are planned and delivered. This includes patients, carers, the public, NHS staff and local partners such as Shetland Islands Council and voluntary and community groups.

By becoming involved in PFPI you can help us learn and understand more about the needs of individuals and groups who make up our community in Shetland today and develop services to suit them. We have a PFPI Steering Group which develops and co-ordinated the PFPI principles for us and includes members of the public. Anyone who has some previous experience of using the health service, such as a doctor or dentist's appointment, can take part.

If you are interested in learning more about PFPI work, please contact us on 01595 743000, extension 3377.

Public Partnership Forum

We have a Public Partnership Forum to give members of the public an opportunity to input their views on health services. Public Partnership Forums are networks of local people with an interest in improving NHS services in Scotland. Ours here in Shetland involves a range of people, including members of local community groups and voluntary organisations, and other interested individuals.

The Public Partnership Forum is supported by our Community Health Partnership (CHP). The CHP brings together NHS staff, Shetland Islands Council, the voluntary sector and others involved in providing health and social care services to work together on improving services and tackling inequality, and is responsible for ensuring we have a Public Partnership Forum to aid ongoing discussion with our local community.

Our Public Partnership Forum has three main roles:

  1. To support the CHP to inform local people about the range and location of services and information that the CHP is responsible for providing
  2. To involve local people in discussing how to improve health services
  3. To support wider public involvement in planning and making decisions about health services

Please refer to Shetland's Public Partnership Forum page for further details.

Ensuring we work to promote Equality and Diversity

All NHS organisations have a statutory general duty to work to elimate unlawful discrimination, be that of race, disability or gender. At NHS Shetland we will not tolerate discrimination in any form, including race, age, religion or belief and sexual orientation. We aim to promote equal opportunities and treat all of our patients and staff as individuals, and ensure that our services and employment practices are fair, accessible and appropriate for the diverse patient community we serve. Equality is about treating individuals fairly, supported by legislation designed to address unfair discrimination. Diversity is about the recognition and valuing of difference for the benefit of the organisation and the individual. Equality and diversity are not interchangeable, but are interdependent.

As part of our statutory duties, the Board has consulted upon and produced Disability, Gender and Race Equality Schemes, and in March of each year we publish an annual report showing progress against all equality strands (age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation). These, along with our Equality Strategy and Equal Opportunities Policy are available at our Equality and Diversity section. We would welcome members of the public who have an interest in Equality and Diversity joining our Equality Network and anyone interested should contact Emilie Gray on 01595 743620.

Public Meetings

Our Annual Review meetings with the Scottish Government are open to the public and everyone is invited to ask questions. Annual Reviews are held with each health board as a means of assessing how effectively it is delivering healthcare services within the budget that has been allocated. We had a very positive review meeting for 2009/10, and the feedback letter from Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, is included at the end of our Annual Report.

Members of the public are also welcome to all our Board Meetings and meeting dates and papers are always published in advance here on our website.


Voluntary services provide a valuable resource in enhancing patient care. Volunteers give practical help and support to patients and visitors and can make a real difference to people in the hospital and the community setting. We have volunteers in a number of areas, including as dementia patient buddies, patient experience volunteers, activities volunteers, flower arrangers and ward assistants. Some services may have a full complement of volunteers and we will be able to discuss the vacancies we have if you contact us. You may also have a skill or area of interest that is not currently covered by volunteering services; if this is the case, please contact us to discuss how we might make use of your skills to further enhance patient care.

If you would like further information about NHS Shetland Voluntary Services please contact us on 01595 743630.

Useful documentation

© NHS Shetland 2015