NHSScotland Health Boards

About living in Scotland

Choosing the right place to live is just as important as choosing the right job. Click on the map to find out about each of the NHSScotland Health Board areas. NHSScotland Health Boards cover the whole of North, South, East and West Scotland including the Western and Northern Isles.

Click the map to find out more.

The 14 geographical Health Boards are supported by a number of non-geographical Health Boards providing national services, and a Scotland-wide public health body.

Geographical Boards

NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Purpose: Working together to achieve the healthiest life possible for everyone in Ayrshire and Arran

NHS Ayrshire & Arran provides a comprehensive range of high quality health services. Over the years the health board has invested in modern hospitals and community facilities. Their highly trained and qualified staff provide health services to a population of around 367,000.

The health board also has a duty to protect public health throughout the region. It is committed to involving local communities and partners in shaping health services that are important to the people of Ayrshire and Arran.

Find out more about NHS Ayrshire & Arran on their website.

NHS Borders

NHS Borders is responsible for providing health care services to protect and improve the health of the people of the Borders and plan services for the local population. They focus clearly on health outcomes and people’s experience of their local NHS system; promote integrated health and community planning by working closely with other local organisations; and provide a single focus of accountability for the performance of the local NHS system.

Find out more about NHS Borders on their website.

NHS Dumfries & Galloway 

NHS Dumfries and Galloway serves a population of over 148,000 but within a large geographical area of about 2,400 square miles. Dumfries and Galloway stretches from Langholm in the East to Drummore in the West, and from Kirkconnel and Carsphairn in the North down to Sandyhills on the Solway Coast. The health board employs around 4500 staff excluding GPs and Dentists.

Find out more about NHS Dumfries and Galloway on their website.

NHS Fife

NHS Fife is working to improve health services with the involvement and support of the public and partners in other NHS Boards, Fife Council and voluntary agencies. Fife is a largely rural area with varied geography and several centres of population.

Fife Acute Hospitals currently serves around 280,000 people. Fife has a population of over 363,000 and represents around 7% of the total population of Scotland. Most residents live in the towns of Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline and Glenrothes. There is a highly developed agricultural sector in the East and North-East of Fife. In the West, there is an extensive cross-section of highly skilled and scientifically orientated industry.

Find out more about NHS Fife on their website.

NHS Forth Valley

NHS Forth Valley is governed by a Board of Directors and is accountable to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing through the Scottish Government Health Directorate.

The Health Board serves a population of around 300,000 in an area which covers the heart of Scotland.

It is the largest employer in the area, with approximately 8000 staff from a wide range of professional and support occupations.  Currently, services are provided in one acute hospital, four community hospitals and fifty-six health centres.

NHS Forth Valley is responsible for providing health services and improving the health for the population of Forth Valley. NHS Forth Valley is a single integrated system comprising acute hospital services and community-based services. These are delivered through three Health and Social Care Partnerships in Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Stirling.

Find out more about NHS Forth Valley on their website.

NHS Grampian

NHS Grampian provides healthcare services to the North East of Scotland, covering the local government areas of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Morayshire Councils. Around 17,000 staff are employed to deliver services to half a million people spread across 3,000 square miles of city, town, village and rural communities.

As an employer, NHS Grampian takes great care to ensure that all staff have a safe, happy and professional environment in which to work. The Health Board prides itself on its flexible and family-friendly employment practices. NHS Grampian is proud of its heritage, proud of the area, history and traditions, and proud of the service it provides to the people of North-East Scotland.

Find out more about NHS Grampian on their website.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is the largest health board and provider of healthcare in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK. Responsible for the provision and management of the whole range of health services in this area including hospitals and General Practice, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde works alongside partnership organisations including local authorities and the voluntary sector.

It serves a population of 1.15 million covering 6 local authority areas which include the city of Glasgow as well as incorporating both urban and rural areas. With a total budget of £3.2 billion and a workforce of around 39,369 staff NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde delivers local, regional and national services including acute hospital, primary, mental health and community services.

Find out more about NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on their website.

NHS Highland

NHS Highland serves a population of approximately 310,000 residents. It provides a wide range of services across the largest land area of any health authority in Scotland. Operational front-line services are provided through two distinct operational units, which are Highland Health and Social Care Partnership and Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership.

NHS Highland's diverse area includes Inverness, one of the fastest growing cities in Western Europe. Because of their geography, the Health Board provides a far wider range of services than expected for their size. The breadth and depth of clinical expertise are significant. As well as having many specialist skills, they have also developed exceptional generalist skills. Some of the challenges faced have led the Board to be innovative and continually adapting to change, which has attracted worldwide interest.

Find out more about NHS Highland on their website.

NHS Lanarkshire

NHS Lanarkshire employs a workforce of approximately 12,000 staff. It is responsible for improving the health of more than 563,185 people living within the North and South Lanarkshire local authority areas.

Primary health care is provided in the community and includes General Practitioners (GPs), Dentists, Pharmacists, Health Visitors and a wide range of other health professionals. The Board's primary care facilities include health centres and community and day hospitals.

Find out more about NHS Lanarkshire on their website.

NHS Lothian

NHS Lothian is responsible for meeting the health needs of circa 800,000 people living in and around Edinburgh. They employ approximately 24,000 staff and provide a comprehensive range of primary, community and acute care services for the populations of Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian.

Across all areas of care, NHS Lothian seeks to provide specialist and general services fairly and efficiently and to the highest standards. State-of-the-art buildings and a forward-looking and innovative approach have earned NHS Lothian's hospitals recognition as centres of excellence, where clinical care, teaching and research have a national and growing international reputation.

NHS Lothian provides an extensive range of primary care services, including mental health, GP and other community-based services. Primary care services are also provided at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Liberton Hospital and the Royal Victoria Building. A wider range of acute adult, paediatric and maternity services is also available.

Find out more about NHS Lothian on their website.

NHS Orkney

Vision: to improve the health and lives of people living in Orkney.

NHS Orkney is the smallest health board in Scotland, employing over 700 staff, with a wide range of general and specialist skills. With its headquarters in Kirkwall, it is responsible for providing a comprehensive health service for the island communities.

As an employer, NHS Orkney has clear policies in place, including a work-life balance policy and a variety of others, to support staff throughout every stage of their employment. They have an excellent occupational health service and actively promote staff health and wellbeing. NHS Orkney ensures staff are treated fairly with dignity and respect, working hard to create an environment where people enjoy working and giving their best.

Find out more about NHS Orkney on their website.

NHS Shetland

NHS Shetland is the most northerly Health Board in the country. It has around 550 staff and is responsible for health care for a population of around 23,000. Local hospital and community services are provided from the Gilbert Bain Hospital.

Shetland has an abundance of wildlife. It is renowned for its fascinating heritage and timeless quality. In 2019 Shetland has been voted as one of the top summer destinations in Europe (Lonely Planet).

Shetland is a land of many contrasts, from rugged hills and flower-strewn meadows; large new houses and traditional crofts to ultramodern ships and small boats which can trace their ancestry back to Viking times.

The islands are distinctly Norse in character, yet very much part of Scotland. If you're looking for a higher quality of life, then Shetland could be for you.

Find out more about NHS Shetland on their website.

NHS Tayside

NHS Tayside employs a workforce of around 14,000 staff and provides a comprehensive range of primary, community-based and acute hospital services to more than 400,000 living in Dundee City, Angus and Perth & Kinross. Its main health organisations are Tayside NHS Board, the Single Delivery Unit and three Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) in Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross.

Tayside Health Board was established in April 1974 and is responsible for commissioning health care services for the residents in the geographical local government areas. NHS Tayside’s governance includes 3 major and a number of community hospitals, including the University of Dundee’s Medical School attached to the regions flagship institute, Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. It also includes over 60 GP surgeries and a variety of health centres staffed by thousands of employees of the health region.

Find out more about NHS Tayside on their website.

NHS Western Isles

NHS Western Isles (otherwise known as Western Isles Health Board) employs around 1030 staff. It provides healthcare services to the local population of approximately 26,500 people. The Western Isles is a group of 11 populated islands located 40 miles off the North West coast of Scotland. It is 130 miles long, from the Butt of Lewis in the North to the Isle of Barra in the South.

NHS Western Isles works actively with patients, the public and partner organisations to improve the community’s health and wellbeing, tackle inequalities and to deliver high quality, reliable clinical services.

Find out more about NHS Western Isles on their website.

Public Health Board

Healthcare Improvement Scotland 

Purpose: Better quality health and social care for everyone in Scotland.

The Healthcare Improvement Scotland Health Board focuses their efforts and resources on enabling people to make informed decisions about their care and treatment. They help health and social care organisations to redesign and continuously improve services. NHS HIS provides evidence and shares knowledge that enables people to get the best out of the services they use and helps services improve. They are also responsible for providing quality assurance that gives people confidence in the services and supports providers to improve as well as making sure every pound invested in our work adds value to the care people receive.

Find out more about NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland on their website.

National Health Boards

Golden Jubilee National Hospital 

A national resource for Scotland, the Golden Jubilee National Hospital is part of the Golden Jubilee Foundation Family, which also includes the Golden Jubilee Innovation Centre, Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel and the Golden Jubilee Research Institute.

The Golden Jubilee is home to regional and national heart and lung services, is a major centre for orthopaedics, and is the flagship hospital for reducing waiting times in key elective specialties.

The Golden Jubilee Foundation is unique within the NHS. A national institution, independently run by its own NHS Board, the Golden Jubilee Foundation is helping to re-define the concept of the public hospital, with a vision of “Leading Quality, Research and Innovation” for NHSScotland.

Find out more about NHS Golden Jubilee National Hospital on their website.


NHS 24 is Scotland’s national telehealth and telecare organisation. They run a telephone advice service covering the out-of-hours period, allowing patients to seek medical advice if they are unwell and need to talk to someone before the GP or dental practice reopens. You will get advice depending on your symptoms. This could be managing symptoms at home, or visiting your local pharmacy. You might need to see an on-call doctor or other health professional. If you need to see a doctor immediately NHS 24 will arrange this for you.

Find out more about NHS 24 on their website.

NHS Education for Scotland 

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is an education and training body and a special health board within NHS Scotland, with responsibility of developing and delivering education and training for the healthcare workforce in Scotland. NES has a Scotland wide role in undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development and maintains a local perspective through centres in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.

NES also cooperates and collaborates with regulatory bodies and other organisations that are concerned with the development of the health and care workforce for example the General Medical Council, universities and other professional bodies.

Find out more about NHS Education for Scotland on their website.

NHS Health Scotland 

NHS Health Scotland is a national Health Board working to reduce health inequalities and improve health. Their main roles are to provide evidence of what works to reduce health inequalities; to work across all sectors in Scotland to put this evidence into action; and to support national and local policy makers to design and evaluate interventions that help build a fairer, healthier Scotland.

Find out more about NHS Health Scotland on their website.

NHS National Services Scotland 

NHS National Services Scotland is a national NHS Board operating right at the heart of NHS Scotland. NSS supports customers to deliver their services more efficiently and effectively. They offer shared services on a national scale using best-in-class systems and standards. Their aim is to help customers save money and free up resources so they can be re-invested into essential services.

Find out more about NHS National Services Scotland on their website.

Scottish Ambulance Service 

As the frontline of the NHS in Scotland and with over 5000 members of staff, the Scottish Ambulance Service provides emergency ambulance service to a population of over 5 million people serving all of the nation’s mainland and island communities.

Their Patient Transport Service undertakes over 1.1 million journeys every year. It provides care for patients who need support to reach their healthcare appointments due to their medical and mobility needs.

Find out more about the Scottish Ambulance Service on their website.

The State Hospitals Board for Scotland 

The State Hospital shares the same values, aims and challenges as the rest of the NHS in Scotland but it is unique because it has the dual responsibility of caring for very ill, detained patients as well as protecting them, the public and staff from harm.

The State Hospital is one of four high secure hospitals in the UK. Located in South Lanarkshire in central Scotland, it is a national service for Scotland and Northern Ireland and one part of the pathway of care that should be available for those with secure care needs. The principal aim is to rehabilitate patients, ensuring safe transfer to appropriate lower levels of security.

Find out more about The State Hospitals Board for Scotland on their website.