The True Highlands Guide on What to do in an Emergency

Trees in Anagach Woods

What do to in an emergency in the Scottish Highlands

In the UK the Emergency Number for Police, Fire, Ambulance, Coastguard, and Mountain Rescue is 999. When reporting anything try and remain calm and explain the facts.

The Out of Hours Medical assistance line, NHS 24 number is 111. This is for use when the Doctors surgery is closed and your first call unless it’s a genuine emergency.

Non-emergency police can be contacted on 101.

Mountain Rescue main site lists the different regional numbers.

The NHS offer some basic advice on first aid as does Net Doctor, but this is no replacement for seeking professional help. NHS 24 offers an online checklist.

High Street chemists offer advice and are a great place to start if you feel under the weather or wish to discuss something. They will refer you to a doctor if required.

Should you require a GP or Dentist, a Google search for “dentist” and name of town or “medical practice” and name of town, should provide a number for you. Again, the local chemist would be able to point you in the right direction.

Emergency treatment at an NHS Hospital in Scotland, is free to everyone, regardless of residency. However, if travelling from overseas, it is recommended that you take out appropriate Health Insurance.

If you find an unwanted visitor in the form of a tick on yourself or your pet, you can get a tick removal kit from the chemist or vets. To remove a tick, take a pair of tweezers and grip the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull up and out, without twisting. If you develop a rash or red ring around the bite, or develop flu-like symptoms within two weeks of a bite, consult a doctor immediately.

If driving in the Highlands, make sure your recovery package is up to date and have breakdown numbers in your glove compartment. And why not invest in a spare pay-as-you-go mobile phone to keep charged in the car.

If you lose your wallet or purse, report it to the police and contact your card providers, bank, insurance and if house keys are lost, arrange a change of locks.

It is a great idea to leave a key with a neighbour when away for any potential emergencies back home, such as a frozen pipe in winter.

If mountaineering or walking, always ensure someone knows what route you are taking and agree a return time, so they can contact emergency services if you don’t return, as there is often poor mobile phone reception in the hills and mountains.

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