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  • Orkney's new hospital, The Balfour. Image by Colin Keldie

Health & Social Care

Orkney benefits from comprehensive, high quality health and social care services, and a brand-new state-of-the-art hospital – The Balfour – opened in Kirkwall in 2019.

Local health services are delivered by NHS Orkney, with some specialist services provided on mainland Scotland by other health boards, primarily NHS Grampian and NHS Highland.

Patients who need emergency medical treatment that can’t be delivered in Orkney are transported to the mainland by air ambulance. Although many of the outer isles have GP or nursing services, patients requiring emergency care are airlifted to Kirkwall by helicopter and occasionally transferred by lifeboat.

Orkney also has a number of NHS and private dental practices.

Orkney Islands Council provides a variety of community social services and runs a number of modern and fully equipped care centres across the county.