SHOW - Scotland's Health On the Web

Latest News

NHS 24 has a new number - 111

15th May 2014

From 29th April, people across Scotland will be able to access NHS 24 out of hours care and information by calling 111.  

Why change the number?

The change is a result of patient feedback. We were aware that some callers found the old number difficult to remember while others were unsure of how much their call would cost.

We decided to address these concerns by introducing a new easy to remember number that is free to call.

Will anything else change?

No, NHS 24 will continue to provide the same range of out of hours care and information to callers across Scotland.

How will it benefit me?

The new number will ensure that people across Scotland can access the service, whether via a landline or mobile phone free of charge, using a number that is short and easy to remember. 

What about the old number?

Don't worry if you call the old number (08454 24 24 24) by accident, as this will still be active for a limited period.  The old number will eventually be phased out in due course.

For more information on contacting NHS 24 please read our leaflet: If it can't wait until your GP surgery reopens (PDF 339KB).

Alternatives to calling

If you are looking for advice on treating common health problems why not consult our self help guide?  You may find an answer to your question here without having to call us.

More detailed health and care information can be found on our sister site NHS inform.


2013 National Primary Care Workforce Survey

15th January 2014

The results of a survey of Scotland’s GP practice workforce have been published.

The healthcare workforce is central to achieving our Quality Ambitions of safe, effective and person-centred care and the 2020 Vision for healthcare.  The GP practice workforce is a core element of the wider workforce supporting sustainable service provision through new and existing models of care. 

Data on doctors, nurses and healthcare support staff in post provided by GP practices as part of the 2013 National Primary Care Workforce Survey will help assist those with responsibilities for ensuring the provision of safe, high quality and sustainable patient care.  It provides data on the primary care workforce serving each NHS Board area and can be found by visiting the Information Services Division (ISD) webpages of NHS National Services Scotland .

For the first time, the survey includes some data on the GP out of hours’ workforce.  An Experimental Report of those GP out of hours results not included as Official Statistics is available on the ISD website (

The survey results will inform future Ministerial decisions on a range of key health and social care policies, including the allocation of training places to support community based care; General Medical Services contract negotiations; and service in remote and rural areas.

The results also provide valuable data which can be used by those involved in developing primary care workforce plans.

2020 Workforce Vision 2014-2015

In 2014-15 all NHS Boards will take action to begin to deliver the commitments in the 2020 Workforce Vision. Their actions will focus on the things that staff said need to change or be done better.

The Workforce Vision will be delivered through 5 priorities for action. The table shows the focus of the actions in 2014-15:


2014-15 focus

Healthy organisational culture

The focus this year is on embedding the shared values in everything we do.

Sustainable workforce

Strengthening workforce planning is identified as one of the early actions.

Capable workforce

The focus this year is on ensuring that development reviews/appraisals are meaningful, providing fair access to learning and development for support staff, and building capacity and capability to improve the quality of what we do.

Integrated workforce

The focus this year is on developing the right conditions for an integrated workforce.

Effective leadership and management

This year, the focus is on supporting and developing line managers, particularly their people skills.

Commenting on the actions John Connaghan, Director Health Workforce and Performance said: “Perhaps the most important priority, is around our culture and values. If we don’t get our values right we won’t have an effective NHS that delivers high quality care for patients. Across NHSScotland everyone is expected to use these values to inform the decisions they take, the way they treat patients and each other.”

Over the course of the year, we should begin to see changes in all of these areas.
Boards will support the workforce through local actions and work will be carried out by the Scottish Government and other organisations to support change.

A summary leaflet and the full Implementation Plan for 2014-15 is on the 2020 Workforce Vision Website ( or call the 2020 Workforce Vision team for more information (0131 244 2478)

Driving Improvement in Healthcare - Our strategy 2014-2020

Draft for consultation

Healthcare Improvment Scotland Logo

6th December 2013

Healthcare Improvment Scotland has a vital role as the national healthcare improvement organisation for Scotland in supporting healthcare providers to deliver safer, more effective and more person-centred care. Healthcare Improvment Scotland are committed to collaborating with healthcare providers to make improvements for patients.

In 2014, Healthcare Improvement Scotland will be entering its fourth year. With their experiences to date they have been reviewing their future direction and how they contribute to the delivery of the 2020 vision for Scotland's health and social care services. This has resulted in the development of the draft strategy for 2014-2020.

A consultation template with some specific questions is now available for download and the and completed forms should be returned to by 7 February 2014.

All forms and further information can be found on the Healthcare Improvment Scotland website.

Have you got your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

European Health Insurance Card logo

8th March 2013

If you’ve ever been on holiday in Europe, you may have had an E111 form to entitle you to free or reduced-cost health care, if you get ill or have an accident. The E111 form was replaced with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in 2005.  You can apply :

  • by completing the online form (your card will be delivered in seven days),
  • by calling 03003301350.
  • by completing a form in the post office

Every family member needs their own card. You can apply for an EHIC for your spouse/partner and any children up to the age of 16 (or 19 if they are in full-time education) at the same time as applying for your own. Before you apply, you need to have the name, date of birth and NHS or national insurance (NI) number of everyone you are applying for.

The EHIC lasts for 3-5 years and allows UK nationals, resident in the UK, to receive free or reduced-cost emergency healthcare when visiting European Economic Area (EEA) countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The Department of Health website explains where the EHIC is valid. The treatment will be free or at a reduced cost, but private treatment is not usually covered.

If you do have to pay, it is a good idea to claim for a refund from the relevant authority in the country where you have been staying. Should  you need to make a claim once you return to the UK call the Overseas Healthcare Team (Newcastle), 0191 218 1999 (Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm).

If you're going to a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, it's also important to make sure you have private health insurance. This is because the EHIC may not cover all the costs of your treatment, and never covers the cost of getting you home (repatriation) if you are seriously ill. 

For more information on the EHIC see the Department of Health's advice for travellers or call the EHIC Enquiries Line on 0845 605 0707

View Latest News Archives

Upcoming Health Events

October 2014

Title: Change and challenge in Diabetes and Endocrinology
Date: 29th October 2014
Location: Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

November 2014

Title: Change and challenge in Diabetes and Endocrinology
Date: 13th November 2014
Location: Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Title: The Multidisciplinary Approach to Neo-adjuvant Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer
Date: 13th November 2014
Location: Royal College of Physicians of Glasgow