NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) apologises unreservedly for any offence that has been caused to the Gypsy/Traveller communities following an internal staff memo. We recognised that we had made a mistake and immediately tried to retract the message, and issued an apology.
An email detailing the weekend closure of the gates at our Gyle Square site was issued to all staff on 31 August and made specific mention of the travelling community.
We deeply regret the content of that email which did not meet our required standards around equality, diversity and inclusion and is not reflective of our views as an organisation. An apology was issued very quickly and additional training has been put in place.
We are seeking to engage with the Gypsy/Traveller communities to discuss and enhance our understanding of the issues that they face.
As an organisation we are pleased that our staff feel able to raise concerns, and we took immediate action to address these. NSS aims to be a leading organisation for promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and, as such, it is mandatory for all staff to undertake Equality and Diversity training every three years. We have very successful staff equality networks who help shape and develop equality approaches for NSS, and we will continue to build on this.
However, as an organisation we will learn lessons from this situation to ensure that this does not happen again.