NHS National Services Scotland’s National Contact Centre has launched a helpline to provide support for people fleeing Ukraine who are coming to Scotland.
The helpline which has been commissioned by Scottish Government, will support people who have been displaced by the war and have travelled safely to Scotland via the UK Government’s visa scheme. The service will also provide invaluable information to local authorities, councils, and other agencies in advance of people arriving in Scotland, to help them settle in.
Martin Morrison, the Operations Director, for the National Services Scotland said: “Our national contact centre is well placed to respond to this crisis. We are able to mobilise new services quickly and provide human connection during times of difficulty, as we have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team’s empathetic approach and first-class service will hopefully make the lives of those who have been devastated by the war, just that little bit easier.”
This new helpline went live at the end of March and lines will be open seven days a week, 12 hours a day.
People who ordinarily live in Ukraine will be able to access NHS services at no charge on the same basis as people living in Scotland.
The amendment to current legislation will ensure that people who have fled Ukraine can access services such as maternity care, mental health services and treatment for specific conditions at no charge while they remain here.
This will also apply to people from Ukraine who were in Scotland on short-term visas when the conflict began and who apply to extend or switch visas because they cannot return home.
Anyone in Scotland, regardless of their nationality, residence status or length of time they will be in the country, is already entitled to receive emergency treatment at an A&E or casualty department and can register with a GP Practice to receive general medical services, at no charge.
A guide to NHS Scotland Services for people fleeing the war can be found in English and Ukrainian at https://www.nhsinform.scot/media/7109/a-guide-to-nhs-scotland-services-for-displaced-persons-from-ukraine-060422-ukrainian.pdf
You can also contact the health information team using the Language Line on 0800 22 44 88, where you’ll have a three-way conversation with the call handler to get the advice you need.