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Transition to civilian life

If you in are settling in Scotland after life in the armed forces, these links will provide you with access to the organisations and information that can assist you to find a home, gain employment and settle into civil society, as well as links to sources of help and support that might be needed.

Transition to civilian lifeThe information in this section is grouped into the five major areas that you will need to consider in order to make a successful transition:

  • Employment – Finding the right job and making best use of your skills. 
  • Education – For you and your children 
  • Health – Establishing yourself with a GP, Dentist and other Health issues 
  • Housing – Finding your new home, 
  • Welfare – The additional support you may need.

Scotland - the background

As a place to live and work, Scotland has a huge range of attractions, from the peace and tranquillity of mountain wilderness to the vibrant urban life of cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. Opportunities for employment are plentiful and range from traditional crafts, through logistics, construction and retail to cutting edge technology and world class engineering. For families, the Scottish education system is world renowned and the National Health Service first class.

For background information on the economic situation, housing and employment the sites below may help with your decision making:

For a general brief on life in Scotland

For a brief on the housing market

For a detailed and up to date view of the economy, employment figures and more

For a direct link to a site specifically for ex service personnel in Scotland

Emergency treatment

If you think you need to see a doctor immediately, tell the receptionist so they can give you an emergency appointment. This lets you see a doctor quickly. If you are very ill and cannot go to the practice, you can ask for a doctor to come to your home. If you need help when your GP practice is closed, you can go to a pharmacy for advice or phone NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24 to speak to a health professional. In a serious emergency you can attend the Accident and Emergency Department at a local hospital or call an Ambulance via 999.

Service related injuries

If you are suffering from a Service related injury the Veterans Welfare Service will be able to provide you with appropriate advice. The Glasgow based team can be contacted on 0141 224 2709, by an email to vws-glasgow@spva.mod.uk or a visit to the Veteran's UK website, linked below.

Health care

The Health system in Scotland is delivered by NHS Scotland through 14 geographically-based local NHS Boards and a number of National Special Health Boards which provide, for example, the Scottish Ambulance Service and the “out of hours” NHS 24 system. Services such as GP surgeries and pharmacies are also provided by contract managed through the NHS Board.

On leaving the armed forces you will need to ensure that you and your family register with a local GP practice and a Dentist. Remember to inform the GPs staff that you have served to ensure that your MOD Medical Records are transferred and are easily assessable by your new GP. A guide to using the Scottish NHS is linked below at 'how to use the nhs'.

Most practices are open during the day from Monday to Friday. Some are also open on Saturday mornings, or a few hours one evening in the week. Practices will try to give you an appointment within two working days, but you may have to wait longer if you want to see a particular doctor. To find and register with your local GP practice you can look in the phone book or ring the NHS helpline, telephone 0800 22 44 88. The nhs24 website is linked below.