Advice for Visitors

amg-31Arran’s population increases from its resident number of 5,000, to over 20,000 during summer and festive periods.  The ferry sees over 700,000 passenger journeys per year, and so providing urgent medical care to Arran’s visitors is an important component of the medical services that we offer.

If you expect to be on Arran for more than 3 months, we advise you to register with our practice.  If you require medical attention whilst you are here working, on holiday or ‘just visiting’, there are a number of options available:

If you are a visitor from outside the UK, you can see this page on NHS Inform about how to access healthcare, costs and reciprocal agreements with your country.

Life-threatening and emergency medical care

If you require emergency care due to an accident or critical medical condition, you should call 999 for an ambulance, or present to Arran’s community hospital – Arran War Memorial Hospital in Lamlash – where there is a GP-led A&E unit.

Arran’s community hospital is a 17-bed unit with 24-7 nursing care.  The phone number is 01770 600 777 but please be aware that outside working hours, answering this phone takes nursing staff away from patient care.  Please note that a doctor is not based at the hospital at all times, but there is always a doctor on call.

Urgent medical attention out of hours

If you require urgent medical attention out of hours, that cannot wait until GP services are open, you should call 111 for NHS24.  They will decide what initial steps are necessary; if you need to see a GP out of hours, they will make the necessary arrangements.

Urgent medical attention during working hours

If you need to see a GP during your visit, please contact us on phone 01770 600 516.  If you are staying more than 24 hours, and less than 3 months we will register you on a temporary basis and will offer you an appointment at one of our sites.  (You can still access our service for urgent medical problems if you are here for less than 24 hours).

Please bear in mind that we will have no access to your previous medical records.  For this reason, we recommend waiting to see your own regular GP, unless you feel that the problem cannot wait.  Please note that we can offer the following services to temporary residents:

  • urgent medical care that cannot wait until return home
  • assistance with warfarin/INR monitoring whilst you are away
  • removal of sutures/dressing changes e.g. from an accident that you have been treated at our community hospital for.

We cannot provide:

  • a second opinion on a medical problem that you are already seeing your GP for
  • referral to local/Ayrshire services except in extenuating circumstances
  • request for xray or other imaging unless this is a new episode requiring acute investigation
  • long-acting contraception or minor surgery
  • routine review of chronic conditions, including routine lipid and other blood tests

Every year we see a number of common medical presentations, some of which can easily be managed with a bit of trusted advice.  We’ve provided a number of links below to this information.

Forgotten medication is a common issue.  If you are reading this at home, please ensure you bring enough medication to cover your trip.  Your GP can provide up to 3 months of your repeat medication, at their discretion.  Read more about this at the NHS Scotland Inform website (or the NHS Choices website for the rest of the UK).

Forgotten medication

Where can I get an emergency supply of my medication?

If you have forgotten your medication, you should attend the community pharmacy nearest to you: in Brodick, Lamlash or Whiting Bay.  They may be able to help.  If not,  you may be asked to attend one of our surgeries for a GP to issue a prescription, but this is likely to take 24-48 hours.

If you are staying in Kildonan, Kilmory, Corriecravie, Shiskine/Blackwaterfoot, Pirnmill, Lochranza or Corrie/Sannox, you should contact Arran Medical Group.  We will require your full name, date of birth, contact details and GP’s details, as well as details of the medication that you require (a repeat order slip is very helpful).  It may take between 24 and 72 hours to provide your medication, due to island delivery arrangements.

Handy Tips for Common Enquiries