Publication - Guidance

Welcome to Scotland: a guide for service personnel and their families moving to Scotland

Published: 29 Jun 2018

Provides practical information to service personnel and their families on topics such as housing, education, healthcare and employment.

20 page PDF

1.2 MB

20 page PDF

1.2 MB

Welcome to Scotland: a guide for service personnel and their families moving to Scotland

20 page PDF

1.2 MB


Healthcare in Scotland is provided by Scotland's public health service, NHSScotland.

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

Access to healthcare

Members of the UK Armed Forces and family members should have any previous NHS waiting times taken into account when moving to a new location, including to Scotland. The expectation is that treatment in your new location will be met within the waiting time standards and Treatment Time Guarantee and according to clinical need.

Registering with your local GP

When settled in a place of residence in Scotland your family should register with a local doctor – a General Practitioner (GP). Your GP will be able to care for your health conditions and 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 dentist

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

Mental Health

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 at

There is also a free and confidential 24-hour Helpline available for you to talk about mental health, which family members or carers can use too. You can access this through Combat Stress at

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 at

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, relationships and sexual health advice at or you can also visit your local GP.

Registering for your 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 ParentClub Website at 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

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 at