Healthcare in Scotland is provided by Scotland’s public health service, NHS Scotland
NHSScotland consists of 14 regional NHS Boards who are responsible for the protection and improvement of their population’s health and for the delivery of frontline healthcare services. You can find more information on NHSScotland at Scotland’s Health on the Web.
Access to Healthcare
When settled in a place of residence in Scotland you and your family should register with a local doctor - a General Practitioner (GP). Your GP will be able to care for your health conditions and to provide treatment if you become unwell. Any prescriptions prescribed by your GP are free of charge. You can find more information at Registering with a GP practice.
Registering with a Dentist
You and your family can get care, advice and treatment from NHSScotland to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy. Scotland also provides free dental checks. You can find a dentist near you using the links at Receiving NHS dental treatment in Scotland
NHS Eye Care
Scotland is the only country in the UK to provide free universal NHS-funded eye examinations. These are available to anyone ordinarily resident in the UK and to eligible overseas visitors. In some cases, the NHS will also give an optical voucher towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses. Your guide to free NHSeye examinations in Scotland.
The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (The ALLIANCE) is a third sector organisation which helps connect people with local sources of support that will enable them to manage their own health conditions more effectively. See Connecting you to your community.
NHSScotland provides mental health services that offer a range of treatments and self-help advice for those experiencing mild, moderate or more complex mental health problems.
The first point of call for accessing NHS care is usually your GP. You can discuss any issue with your GP who can also arrange referral to more specialist services if that is necessary. You can find more details regarding support and services.
Support and Social Care
The Scottish Government is working in partnership with service users, carers, Local Authorities, NHS Scotland, Integration Authorities, the Care Inspectorate and the voluntary and independent sectors to integrate health and social care services across Scotland. You can find all information in relation to Scotland’s social care
Sexual Health/Family Planning Clinics
NHSScotland provides free sexual health services in Scotland. You can access professional and non-judgmental care on all family planning conception information, relationships and sexual health advice or you can also visit your local GP.
Parent Club Scotland
Parent Club offers up-to-date guidance from the Scottish Government on your child’s health and education. It’s full of hints and tips from other parents and carers who’ve been there before. It also has advice to help you look after your own wellbeing and to point you in the direction of the support available
Scotland’s Baby Box
Every baby born and living in Scotland is entitled to a Baby Box. This is an opt-in scheme, and expectant parents register to receive their box via their midwife, at approximately 20 weeks.
Further information on Scotland’s Baby Box can be found via the Scottish Government’s Parent Club Website or via your health professional.
In an Emergency
NHS 24 is Scotland’s telephone service providing health advice 24 hours a day. The telephone service allows people who feel unwell or those caring for them to obtain health advice if it is not possible to wait until they can visit their GP when the practice is next open. You can call them on 111 if you are ill or need any health services. Alternatively you can also access their website at NHS24.
The advice line is not intended as a substitute for obtaining an emergency ambulance service. For all life-threatening emergencies you should still call 999.
You will find more information on all health-related topics including dental care, smoking, alcohol, food and nutrition and mental wellbeing on NHS inform’s website.
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