Healthcare information for visitors to Edinburgh during August 2018
Given the large numbers of people coming to Edinburgh, it’s no surprise that some fall ill and we need to treat them. If you are one of these visitors or performers and you become unwell, it’s important for you to know who to turn to for medical advice or attention when you’re away from home.
For those who become unwell and need medical help or advice, please follow the information below, which aims to guide you to the most appropriate healthcare service.
Emergency care is always free at the point of use. For temporary residents from around the world, if you access any of our services we will treat you first and then sort things out later – you won’t be denied urgent care. If at any time you think you need an emergency ambulance for a life-threatening condition, call 999.
Emergency dental treatment
For information on emergency dental care, visit www.nhsinform.scot/care-support-and-rights/nhs-services
Pharmacies will provide you with help and advice on common health problems, minor ailments and questions about medicines. If you are from the United Kingdom and run out of repeat medication, a pharmacy may be able to help you get a prescription from your own GP practice or an emergency supply.
To find the pharmacy nearest to you and for more self-help advice, go to www.nhsinform.scot/national-service-directory/pharmacies
Minor Injuries Clinic
For minor injuries (minor cuts / burns, wound infections, sprains and small bone breaks (from shoulder to fingers and knees to toes), go to the Minor Injuries Clinic at the Western General Hospital, Crewe Road South, Edinburgh.
If you want to check if your injury is suitable for treatment at the clinic, phone ahead on 0131 537 3481. The clinic is staffed by specialist nurse, paramedic and physiotherapy practitioners, who provide treatment for adults and children over one year. It is open every day from 8am - 9pm (last patient book-in: 8.30pm). No appointment necessary.
More information on the Minor Injuries Clinic is on our website at www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk/services/emergencies/MinorInjuryClinic/Pages/default.aspx
Sexual Health Services
The Chalmers Centre provides care and advice on sexual health issues, including emergency contraception. For appointments and advice, call 0131 536 1070 or visit www.lothiansexualhealth.scot.nhs.uk for more information. For walk-ins, you can attend the Centre between 8:30am and 10am.
For advice on common health problems, see the NHS inform website at www.nhsinform.scot
If you are acutely ill and need contact with a General Practitioner (GP/family doctor) that day, you should first phone a local GP practice. To find the GP practice nearest you, go to www.nhsinform.scot/national-service-directory/gp-practices
Alternatively, phone 0131 667 3925 where there are a number of additional appointments available between 9am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, from Wednesday 1 August to Monday 27 August.
Healthcare at night and weekends
For healthcare advice between 6pm and 8am and at weekends, please call NHS 24 on 111. NHS 24 will provide appropriate assessment and treatment, if necessary.
Hospital Emergency Departments
NHS Lothian has hospital Emergency Departments at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, St John’s Hospital, Livingston and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh.
These services are for urgent and emergency situations only. Emergency departments are not an alternative to your GP, so don’t go to them if a GP can’t see you immediately or when your GP surgery is closed. Please help to keep our emergency departments free for those who really need their help and ask yourself: “Do I really need emergency treatment?”
For more details on emergency departments and emergency situations, see our website at: www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk/Services/Emergencies/EmergencyDepartmentsAE/Pages/default.aspx
If at any time you think you need an emergency ambulance for a life-threatening condition, call 999.
Urgent mental health support
The following are some useful phone numbers to keep a note of if you need support with your mental health:
- Mental Health Assessment Service (MHAS) on 0131 537 6000
• Breathing Space helpline – 0800 838 587
• The Samaritans helpline – 08457 909 090
• Edinburgh Crisis Centre – 0808 801 0414.
Car parking spaces are limited at our hospital sites. There are excellent public transport links to our hospitals, with Edinburgh and the rest of the Lothian region (Midlothian, West Lothian and East Lothian) well-served by a network of buses.
There are also a number of dedicated cycle paths offering safer, traffic-free routes for cyclists.
Links to bus/tram, train and cycle websites are on our website at
A big warm welcome to Lothian’s temporary residents – we hope you all enjoy the summer festivals!
Here is our Festival Healthcare poster
Last Reviewed: 16/07/2018