About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland presents data on COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers in Scotland. It looks at the risk of hospitalisation with COVID-19 by grouping healthcare workers into patient facing, non- patient facing and indeterminate groups.

Main points

Among almost 160,000 healthcare workers employed by the NHS in Scotland (either directly or via a contract to provide general practice services):-

  • The risk of hospitalisation with COVID-19 from 1st March 2020 to 6th June 2020 was low. There were 243 healthcare workers (0.15%) hospitalised during this period.
  • Healthcare workers in non-patient facing roles did not have a significantly increased risk of hospitalisation compared to other working age adults - 0.07% for non-patient facing healthcare workers and 0.06% in the working-age population.
  • Healthcare workers in patient facing roles, however, did have an increased risk, with 0.20% being hospitalised with COVID-19. This was around 3 times as high as the risk in non-patient facing healthcare workers
  • Should levels of COVID-19 in the population increase, measures to reduce risk among staff should be considered, either by reducing exposure to SARS-CoV2 among staff in patient-facing roles and/or by redeploying the relatively small number of staff known to be at higher risk of severe disease to non-patient facing roles.


On 1 March 2020, the first person in Scotland tested positive for COVID-19. On the 17 March NHS Scotland was placed on an emergency footing by the Cabinet Secretary. Schools have been closed since 20 March and the country entered lockdown on 23 March. Scotland entered phase one of easing out of lockdown on Friday 29 May 2020, phase two on Friday 19 June and phase three on Friday 10 July. Since the start of the outbreak, Public Health Scotland (PHS) has been working closely with the Scottish Government and health and care colleagues to support the surveillance and monitoring of COVID-19 amongst the population. There is a large amount of data being regularly published regarding COVID-19 (for example, by Public Health Scotland, National Records of Scotland and the Scottish Government). This report complements the range of existing data currently available.

Further information

This publication will be released on an ad-hoc basis.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.comms@phs.scot.

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Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 20 November 2023
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