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Lockdown Guidance (SHFN 03-04)

Published on 23 March 2021

From: National Services Division

Scottish Health Facilities Note 03-04 Lockdown: Controlling Movement and Access within Healthcare FacilitiesA Framework for NHSScotland March 2020



A wide range of circumstances or incidents may conspire to make NHS services vulnerable and threaten them to the point of collapse. Therefore, locking down a healthcare facility/site may be a proportionate response from a variety of threats and hazards to safeguard patients, staff, visitors, and protect NHS assets. In accordance with this, this document contains clearly outlined principles, for NHS Boards and managers at all levels of the organisation, to follow when developing plans to lock down all or parts of a facility/site in a wide range of scenarios. Replacing ‘Hospital Lockdown: A Framework for NHSScotland Strategic Guidance for NHSScotland’ (2010) this updated document reflects best practice and draws on consolidated experience of healthcare organisations that have implemented Lockdown in response to major incidents. It highlights that Lockdown may be a first or a last resort and the intensity of the control measures imposed may vary in type and duration according to the assessed risks, threats or hazards.