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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

National Services Scotland (NSS) deliver a range of services in support of the efficient and effective operation of NHS Scotland. Find out more about National Services Scotland. We do not provide direct frontline patient care. However, from time to time we receive enquiries about the NHS and healthcare provision in Scotland and the UK. Here we have brought together the most common questions, and their answers, to help you locate the information you are looking for.

If you need more help, please contact us. We will be happy to assist with your enquiry.

Where can I find the contact details of someone in NSS/NHS?

Browse our Services section to find the appropriate area of NSS, then use the contact details for that Division to locate the person. If you wish to find someone in NHS Scotland, first identify the NHS Board, then navigate to their website to find contact details.

Where can I find details of job vacancies?

For the latest vacancies in National Services Scotland, browse our NSS Careers page. For all NHS jobs in Scotland, visit the NHS Scotland Online Recruitment website.

Where can I find information about prescription charges?

The Scottish Government website has a wealth of information concerning prescription charges in Scotland, including latest charges, refunds and prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs).

Am I entitled to free prescriptions or help with charges?

The Scottish Government has produced a useful guide to provide advice on those entitled to help with prescription charges (including optical vouchers).

How can I find a GP, dentist or other medical service in my home area?

You can find a great deal of useful information on the NHS24 website, covering health care in Scotland. For information about medical services in England and Wales, visit NHS Direct or, alternatively, for England only, NHS Choices.

How do I get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

There is lots of useful information about the EHIC on the Department of Health website, including how to apply for a new EHIC or replace a stolen card.

I'm a UK citizen. Am I covered for NHS healthcare when I go abroad?

No. You are strongly advised to obtain adequate private health insurance to cover your trip abroad. You'll find useful information on travel and health on the Department of Health website. If traveling in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you should apply for, and carry, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

I am from another country. Can I sign up for NHS healthcare?

You may have to pay for hospital treatment whilst in the United Kingdom (UK). Hospital treatment is free to people who ordinarily live in the UK. If you do not normally live here then you may be required to pay for any treatment you might need. This is regardless of whether you are a British citizen or have lived or worked here in the past. Find out more about the regulations governing eligibility for free hospital treatment in Scotland.

Health Rights Information Scotland provides information about overseas visitors' health rights. The factsheets tell workers, students, asylum seekers and refugees, former residents, UK passport holders and pensioners living abroad, about the NHS services they can expect to receive during their stay in Scotland.

To apply for treatment, visit your local general practitioner (GP) or health centre. You can find your nearest GP here.

How can I access my medical records?

You have a right to access your NHS Scotland health records, under the Data Protection Act 1988. Read the helpful leaflet about how to see your health records available from Health Rights Information Scotland.

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