Enhancing the working experiences of disabled staff - what we learned from shielding

Listen to the experiences of NHS staff who were shielding, learn about the adjustments they received and how this improved their wellbeing.

17 November 2021

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For many years staff networks across the NHS have been championing more agile working. During the first wave of the pandemic the NHS had to respond quickly and re-examine how they supported their workforce, especially those staff with disabilities and long-term health conditions required to shield and work from home.

There have been mixed experiences reported during the pandemic by disabled staff who found themselves shielding. Some have been supported by their manager and organisation, reaping the benefits from these arrangements. 

This podcast features the experiences of four NHS colleagues who have disabilities and long-term health conditions. It highlights some of their challenges and adjustments that were made so they could continue to carry out their roles, and the positive impact this had on their wellbeing and ways of working.

  • Kush Naik, Acute Dietition, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation
    Kush was recovering from a kidney transplant, whilst working from home she received excellent line manager support and was able to develop her career.
  • Debbie Morgan, Director of Service Improvement and Transformation, Cambridge Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    Debbie has a low immune system due to medication, whilst working from home she was able to adapt her leadership skills and transform ways of working for her team.
  • Michelle Healy, Data Integrity Officer, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
    Due to a health-condition and immuno-suppressant medication Michelle needed to work from home. As a result of not having to commute and visit multiple hospital sites, Michelle saved time travelling and was less fatigued.
  • Ralph Roberts, Radiotherapy Physics Operational Manager, Oxford University Hospitals NHS  Foundation Trust 
    Following a risk assessment it was agreed Ralph should work from home due to an underlying health condition, his working arrangements have since resulted in more agile working.

Further information

Find out how to support disabled staff in the workplace, including guidance on making reasonable adjustments so they can carry out their roles.