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Using our health service

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We all need to use NHS healthcare services at some point during our lives, even if we are generally healthy and well. Our guides explain NHS services, your rights as a patient, and what you can expect during and after a hospital stay.

NHS services for older people

Our NHS services for older people guide covers some of the most common services used by older people, NHS screening and immunisation programmes, falls prevention, help with health costs, where to go for help and what to do if you have an issue with a service you are receiving.

NHS services for older people

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Your hospital stay

No one likes going into hospital but unfortunately, most of us will have to at some point. Being in an unfamiliar environment while having to cope with illness or the uncertainty of diagnosis can be both distressing and unsettling.  A hospital stay can be a difficult time for you and those close to you but is likely to be less stressful if you know what to expect. Our Your hospital stay guide looks at NHS hospital treatment in Scotland, from going into hospital and being a hospital patient to leaving hospital and returning home.

Your hospital stay guide

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Hospital discharge in Scotland

Being in hospital, whether your stay is planned or an emergency, can be stressful. Knowing how long you are likely to be there, and what will happen when you are discharged, can help you to feel more in control and at ease. Read our Hospital discharge guide if you want to find out more about the discharge process when you leave hospital, and what your options may be.

Hospital discharge in Scotland guide

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Planning for your future healthcare

We all hope to enjoy good health for as long as possible, but it can be helpful to think about the healthcare you may want or need in the future. Decisions about future healthcare are best made when you have time to think and to discuss them with your family and healthcare team

If you have a serious health problem, you might want to think about the types of treatment you would or would not want to receive.  You may wish to choose who should make decisions on your behalf, if you became unable to make them for yourself, and make sure they understand your wishes.  Our guide to Planning for your future healthcare looks anticipatory care planning, Advance Directives and Statements, mental capacity, Power of Attorney and more.

Planning for your future healthcare guide

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Order copies of our publications

You can download our guides using the links on this page. To request copies, which will be posted out to you for free, you can use our online publications order form or call the Age Scotland Helpline (0800 12 44 222 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm).

The Age Scotland Helpline

Our free 0800 12 44 222 helpline is a free, confidential phone service for older people, their carers and families in Scotland. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm.


Last updated: Sep 16 2022

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