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*UPDATED* Hospital visiting changes, home testing kits, Vaccine info, general info and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.

Working in Scotland

NHS Scotland currently employs approximately 162,500 staff who work across 14 territorial NHS Boards, seven Special NHS Boards and one public health body.

Scotland's healthcare workforce includes:

  • around 5,500 consultants - providing around 5000 whole time equivalent (WTE) 
  • around 68,000 nurses, midwives and health visitors (providing around 59,000 WTE)
  • around 4,800 general practitioners (providing around 3,700 WTE)
  • over 500 nurse practitioners and 1,600 registered nurses working in GP surgeries.
  • dentists
  • around 4,000 pharmacists, mostly working in community pharmacy positions, with around 1,200 retail pharmacies across Scotland
  • opticians
  • allied health professionals

Each NHS Board is accountable to Scottish Ministers, supported by the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates.

Territorial NHS Boards are responsible for the protection and the improvement of their population’s health and for the delivery of frontline healthcare services.  Special NHS Boards support the regional NHS Boards by providing a range of important specialist and national services.

All NHS Boards work together for the benefit of the people of Scotland. NHS Boards work closely with their partners including patients, staff, local authorities and the voluntary sector to deliver effective healthcare services and to safeguard and improve the health of their residents.

NHS Boards work together regionally and nationally to plan and commission specialist healthcare services such as heart and lung surgery, neurosurgery, and forensic psychiatric care. A number of local services are also shared between Boards to maximise efficiency.


Scotland has a strong tradition of medical and biosciences research with our universities consistently in the top 100 world-rankings. We're home to one of Europe’s largest life science clusters with more than 650 organisations employing over 35,000 staff producing world-leading research, development and manufacturing.

The flexibility of working arrangements in NHS Scotland makes it an excellent place to work if you're interested in advancing medicine. There's a strong culture of collaboration across research institutes, universities and commercial partners. Organisations like the Farr Institute, Scottish Health Innovations, the Digital Health and Care Institute and the Health Innovation assessment portal are just some examples of the commitment to delivering innovation that is at the heart of Scotland's health quality and life sciences strategies.

NHS Scotland is recognised as having some of the best health service data in the world and a population size and diversity that makes Scotland an excellent base for clinical research. Close links with our world-class university sector mean that there are many opportunities for first class health research. Take a look at NHS Research Scotland or look at some of our universities' websites to find out more.

2020 Vision for NHS Scotland

Since the launch of the Quality Strategy, the Scottish Government announced its ambitious plan for integrated health and social care and set out the 2020 Vision and Strategic Narrative for achieving sustainable quality in the delivery of health and social care across Scotland.

The 2020 Vision and the Strategic Narrative describe the challenges for health and social care for the future and provides a commonly agreed narrative about the direction we are working towards. The Quality Strategy provides the approach and the required actions to improve both quality and efficiency in order to achieve financial sustainability.

Everyone involved in the delivery of healthcare in Scotland is now asked to play their part in turning the vision into a reality.

About Scotland

Choosing the right place to live is just as important as choosing the right job. Many people who have moved from abroad to Scotland have been attracted by the  opportunity to enhance their quality of life. House prices can be cheaper than elsewhere in the UK and Western Europe, the commuting is often easier, and the countryside offers a wide range of activities, nestled amidst of the most spectacular scenery you will find anywhere in the world.

It is well known that Scotland’s people are famous for the warmth of their welcome. Scotland is home to over five million people, and it is estimated that for every person living in Scotland, another five people living across the world have Scottish ancestry.  With such wide connections spreading to every corner of the globe, it is no wonder that overseas visitors are made to feel like they are returning home!

We have Consultant Radiologist vacancies available in various locations across Scotland, giving you the option to choose where you might like to come and settle. From the remote and beautiful countryside of the Highlands, to the vibrant streets of our major cities in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Inverness, Perth and Stirling, there’s sure to be a role to suit you. 

Work / Life Balance

Wherever you choose to live and however you like to spend your free time, you can be sure that you will be within easy reach of a range of sporting and cultural activities, right on your doorstep.  Equally, there is a good and reliable public transport network, allowing you to get out and about, be that somewhere in the city, in the country, or even further afield. 

 Scotland enjoys a temperate climate, though the winters can be a little bracing!  Nevertheless, in the summer it can remain light and bright late into the evening, giving you plenty of time to get out and about after work.


Scotland is the home of golf, bag-piping, internationally renowned arts festivals and the world's biggest Hogmanay.  We are also the birthplace of Walter Scott, Conan Doyle, Irvine Welsh and a host of other authors, artists, and musicians.  Scotland is a thoroughly cultured place to live. If you like outdoor pursuits, you're never far from hills, mountains, lochs and sea wherever you choose to base yourself.  Famous Scots can also be found in sport, acting and music. Britain's most successful Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy, the six-times gold medallist is a proud Scot as is tennis-player Andy Murray, previously ranked first in the world. Other famous Scots include actor Sean Connery and Ewan McGregor, musicians Annie Lennox, Paulo Nutini and violinist Nicola Benedetti.

Scotland has plentiful art galleries, museums, theatres and parks showcasing its culture.  We also boast a rich natural larder and some world-class restaurants.   You’ll definitely be able to spend your free time in style relaxing over a Michelin-starred meal or taking in a performance at one of our fine theatres, concert halls and live-music venues   


Scotland has a rich and historic culture and heritage and is a country of wonderful contrasts. Scotland is also a progressive, inclusive and forward-looking country. We welcome everyone, irrespective of their background, whether they are living with a disability, their ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation or gender. 

 Christianity remains the largest single religion in Scotland, however, we are home to many other religious communities, including Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh and Hindu groups.  At the last census (2011), approximately 4% of the population described themselves as minority ethnic, a figure which has nearly doubled since 2001.  Nevertheless, you’ll find that some 12% of the population of Glasgow and 8% of the populations of Aberdeen and Edinburgh are minority ethnic.   

 Some 20% of people living in Scotland identify themselves as living with a long-term, activity-limiting health problem or disability.   We are actively encouraging people who work for our public services to declare where they are living with a health problem and we support an open and transparent culture in which people can bring their whole selves to work.    

 Survey data from 2015 indicates that some 1,8% of the Scottish population identifies as lesbian, gay or bisexual, though wider statistical information on LGBTI identities is limited.  Scotland introduced same-sex marriage in December 2014 and the law in Scotland provides protection for same-sex couples including in relation to property rights and adoption. 

Last Updated: 10 July 2018