Whether you are coming from overseas or just relocating from another part of the UK, we warmly welcome you to the South West of Scotland and hope you have fun settling into our communities and way of life.
We have put together, with the support of our colleagues, in the staff networks, some information that will hopefully reduce the stress of moving. Many of those who contributed to the information below have lived experience of moving to the region or the UK and are eager to share what they found useful when making the move. Please do feedback to us on email@example.com if you feel we need to add anything else as we are always looking to improve our candidates experience.
For those moving from out with the area the board allocates funding to relocate. Criteria and terms do apply. The policy can not be applied if you are coming via an alternatively funded campaign. Candidates should speak to the recruiting manager at application stage.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway encourage all new out of area and overseas candidates to click the link below and complete the quick questionnaire that will link you in with one of our ambassadors.Click Here
Click here to see the location of our central site ‘Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary’. You can then plan your route via car by clicking for directions.
Not everyone will be working at our main hospital and you may want to plan your journey to other work sites in our region, Use this handy tool to plan your journey via car : Journey planner
If you need to hire a car locally, click here for our local hiring companies.
If you require a taxi, please click here to see our local taxi services.
Free onsite parking at all NHS Dumfries and Galloway worksites.
If you are driving around the region, free parking is available in certain areas, however you may need to display a parking disc. For further information and how to get one for free please click here.
If you drive an electric car we have electric charging points at most of our NHS Dumfries and Galloway sites. To find charging points around the region, please click here.
There are plenty of local bus routes to let you travel all around the region. There are also bus links available to allow you to travel around both Scotland and England.
For our bus routes for Dumfries and Galloway please visit Stagecoach bus.
For our bus routes from around Dumfries town centre to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, please click here.
Alternatively, please visit Traveline Scotland to plan routes around Scotland.
Handy tip: Ask your local bus driver for a 10 journey bus ticket as this can reduce the overall individual ticket price. There is no time frame for you to use this ticket.
Dumfries Train Station is located in the centre of town – click here to view on the map.
Lockerbie Train Station is a 30 minute drive from Dumfries.
Carlisle Train Station is a 45 minute drive from Dumfries. You can also get a train from Dumfries to Carlisle to then link to other rail services to travel South.
Stranraer Train Station is located on the harbour in town – click here to view on the map.
There are also Barrhill and Girvan Train Stations in the West of the region, which is a 45 minute to 1 hour drive from Stranraer.
Train Service Information
Please refer to the following websites for information on train timetables and how to book tickets:
National Rail Enquiries
Handy tip: Children can travel for £1 on any Scotrail service when travelling with a paying adult. Adults can buy tickets online however the child ticket must be bought in person either at an office or on board the train.
We encourage staff to cycle to work when they are able to. There is a bicycle park for staff, where you can lock your bicycle. It’s important to get familiar with the roads before cycling. Safety gear is very important as one takes up cycling. There are bathrooms including showers and toilets where staff can clean up before they start or finish their shift.
There are over 400 bike routes around Dumfries and Galloway. Click here for information.
Handy Tips: Did you know we have a Cycle to Work scheme? For information, Click here.
We also have active travel officers who can help with anyone new to bicycle riding.
We also have electric bikes which you can use for free to travel to different NHS sites (a short training session must be completed first).
For more information contact:
This mode of transportation is both effective and physically energizing as it helps you stay physically and mentally fit. It does have limitation especially for people who may be physically disabled.
Some of our international arrivals are surprised at the amount of walking we do not just in our region but across the UK as many of our hospitals are not city based. Although our places of work are serviced by our bus routes, some bus routes can still incur a 15 minute walk from home to bus stop and this is seen as normal.
The google map app is extremely helpful as it plots out the fastest path to you destination and calculates the time it would take you to walk to the place. It is also helpful when going to new areas you have been to before as you have time to look at the surroundings and get familiar with the new city. There are also some footpaths which make the journey shorter and especially around the town centre it may be worth checking how long it takes walking compared to driving.
Dumfries and Galloway has a selection of airports located both North and South to choose to travel from:
In the west of the region, we have Cairnryan Ferry Terminal. This is just a 13 minute drive from our Galloway Community Hospital. From here, you can travel to Northern Ireland in just over 2 hours.
Please check the following websites to see ferry timetables and information on how to book.
The “what3words” app is useful if you require emergency assistance but you are in an unfamiliar area, rural location or one that is difficult to describe.
The App has assigned three random words to every 3 metre square of the world, meaning that if you are in trouble and not sure where you are, you can give your exact location to emergency services.
Download the app from the app store on your mobile phone.
Choosing where to live can be a hard decision as there are so many beautiful places to choose from. If you want to live in the busy centre of town, a quiet housing development, a small village or a very rural location out in the country side, you will find something that suits you!
Being such a large geographical region, you may want to consider where you live depending on where your workplace is based.
Below are examples of some areas in the region, and the commute times to NHS D&G worksites:
Not everyone works at our main hospital sites, use this handy tool below to plan your work commute:
Facebook groups such as Dumfries and Galloway: House sales, swaps and rentals can be a useful resource that many of our out of area and overseas candidates have had success in finding property.
We also have local estate agents who can provide support, please click here to be directed to local agents.
When renting a property in Scotland, a contract will be set up between yourself and the landlord which will usually start with a 6 month lease term. A months rent in advance as well as a deposit will be required (normally equivalent to a months rent) this acts as a guarantee against damage to property and cleaning bills if required.
The Deposit is then passed on to a third party. There are three tenancy deposit scheme providers to choose from in Scotland: Letting Protection Service Scotland, Safe Deposits Scotland, my deposits Scotland. The landlord will also need some information and documents before final agreements are reached.
You are able to renew and extend your lease by having discussions with your landlord.
please note if you go via an estate agent there will an additional fee which is generally 50% of months rent. An agent supports the landlord with references and checks however many landlords locally are now choosing to do these checks themselves.
Payments are usually monthly, but this will depend on your agreement with your landlord.
Some rental properties may have rules in place, for example not allowing pets. It is important to make sure you check your agreement if you are wanting to have pets in your property.
For full guidance on renting a property in Scotland please refer to this guide for tenants by clicking here.
There is always the option of buying a property outright. It is important to view the property before purchase and get a survey report of the property. It’s important to speak to your bank and get an agreement in principle as this will be helpful while making your case to the home owner when buying the property.
Buying a property takes months to sort out. It’s always a good idea to find out how much you can afford before buying a house. Many banks will demand a higher deposit from overseas employees which is why it is important to try to build credit as soon as you arrive in in the UK to increase your credit score.
It may be advisable to rent a property initially on starting a job with us, understand the region before buying a property, as the location of the property is very important as it relates to schools and local amenities.
It is worth taking advice from a few people before buying a property and many of our Welcome ambassadors are will to chat to you about this as they have previously been through this journey.
Purchasing a house in Scotland may be different to purchasing a house overseas or in the rest of the UK. For information on buying a property in Scotland, please click on the following links for advice and guidance.
If you require accommodation for a short stay, there are different options in the region. Please click on the links to search available short-term accommodation options and choose which is right for you.
Local Bed & Breakfast Accommodation (B&B) – Provide a private room and breakfast.
AirBnB – Provide either private room or an entire house/flat to stay.
Hotels – Private room.
Spare Room – Provide a private room in a house/flat.
Like with short and long term rentals, many of our out of area candidates have the most success in finding temporary accommodation via local Facebook groups such as Dumfries and Galloway Residential Properties for Rent, Sale and Wanted or groups specific to the town such as I love Newton Stewart.
Our community are really welcoming and happy to help new health and care workers come and settle in the region.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway offer residences for students, trainees and medical locums. If there is space available, new staff moving to the area can request temporary accommodation. There is no family accommodation available.
Please click here to find out more information.
Schools & Education
The Education Authority Handbook is a great guide on Dumfries and Galloway’s education services.
This provides information on polices and procedures, as well as support and information on how all children are supported to reach their potential through meeting their individual needs and aspirations.
Click here to read.
For Early Years education and childcare information please click here.
In Dumfries and Galloway, there are plenty of childcare options available to suit what is best for you and your family. Options in the region include:
Local Nursery : Nurseries are usually open between 7am-6-pm. Nurseries usually care for children from 2 years old. If you are looking for a nursery, please click here for listings and more information.
Child Minder: A Child Minder can be more flexible and you can arrange with them days and times for child care. Always check that they are registered with the Care Inspectorate. If you are looking for someone as a full time childminder, a nanny/au pair may be a better option for you.
After School Club: Most school days end around 3pm and if you are working late this is a great option for you. After School Clubs run either from the school directly, or local nurseries have their own services where they collect them from school and take them to the nursery. After School Clubs are open until 6pm. Some schools and nurseries also run Breakfast Clubs where you can drop them off before school. If at a nursery, the nursery will drop off at the school.
Dumfries and Galloway has 98 primary schools and 18 secondary schools over the region.
You can locate the listings and information on each of the schools by clicking below:
For school term and holiday dates, please click here.
In the UK, we have a number of private/boarding schools. The closest boarding/private schools to Dumfries and Galloway is located in Carlisle, England which is a 45 minute drive from the centre of Dumfries. Click here to search for information on all of our private/boarding schools in the UK.
For further education and learning we have Dumfries and Galloway college based in Dumfries and their is also a campus in Stanraer, the West of the region. There are also 3 universities which is brilliant for the region. The University of the West of Scotland and the University of Glasgow both have a campus in Dumfries located on the Crichton Grounds in the town centre, offering a range of courses. The Scottish Rural University College (SRUC) is located at Parkgate, a 15 minute drive from Dumfries town centre, it offers a range of courses from agriculture to veterinary nursing. For more information, click on the appropriate logo:
Other Useful Info
Opening a UK bank account
One of the first things you will need to do when thinking of relocating to the UK is open a bank account as your salary can only be paid into an UK bank account.
If you do not already possess a UK bank account, please arrange this promptly. We would recommend searching online to find UK banks. As a Health Board, we can’t recommend any companies, but we suggest searching online if there is a branch locally and if they can transfer money abroad.
It is important to remember that UK banks will require you to have a UK address and a UK mobile number before allowing you to open an account.
Those staff arriving from Overseas will need to build their credit score should they wish to secure loans in the future.
There are a few ways to do this
- Get a mobile phone contract
- Ensure your household bills are paid by Direct Debit
- Get a credit card but ensure it is only used on what you can afford and paid off monthly as this will help build your credit score.
- Register yourself and family on the electoral role
To find out more on what a credit score is and how it effects purchasing large investments such as cars and houses, read more here
The council of Dumfries and Galloway have tax charges for every property in Dumfries. This means you will need to register with the council to pay your tax charges. Tax charges rate vary depending on your banding. The council tax charges also includes water and waste water charges unlike in England where water rates are charged separately.
The link below is for Dumfries and Galloway council website, and it includes information council tax: https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/counciltax
Energy provider registration
There are various energy providers and it is advisable to compare prices before choosing any providers. There are various payment options which should be explored.
Most properties will have a combination of electric and gas supply. Gas is mainly used for heating and sometimes gas cookers however some houses may have all electric appliances including electric radiators.
More rural homes may use alternative fuels for heating such as oil. It would be advisable to check out what your property has before committing to the property.
Many households no longer have dedicated land lines in the house any more as broadband options have increased and use of wifi messaging services make it easier to call home.
See the section on moving from overseas for more information on SIM cards and mobile phones.
There are a few broadband providers like BT, Sky, Virgin Media, Now, Plusnet, Vodafone, John Lewis Broadband, TalkTalk, EE and many more. It is important to compare prices between various providers. Some broadband providers also in addition to providing broadband services, also provide satellite Television and telephone services. These providers also have offers which should be considered before making your final purchase. It may also be importance to consider various internet speed in your area and the number of devices which will be using the internet.
Television licence/ Television subscription
In the United Kingdom, everyone who watches a television will need to pay a television licence. This is the law and needs to be followed.
Not everyone like to watch television, so this is optional however even if you watch TV on your laptop or pc you will still need to secure a licence.
In the event that you get a television there are a number of subscription providers where you can watch a range of programmes an films at an additional price.
Driving in the UK
International staff starting with us may have an international driving license which may be used for one year (please verify this with DVLA). It is expected that you obtain a United Kingdom driving license during this period.
Taking your test
There are driving tests that need to be passed, part one is called the Theory Test and is a computer-based test in an official test centre. To find your nearest theory test centre click the following link https://www.gov.uk/find-theory-test-centrehere
Part two is your practical driving exam. This can be taken at a local test centre and booked by using the following link https://www.gov.uk/book-driving-test
It is always advisable to have a couple of lessons with a local instructor as they can help you practice the test route.
Purchasing a car
There are various options on how to purchase a car. Autotrader is a website for new and used cars. There are local car dealers in Dumfries and many more in Carlisle (45minute drive from Dumfries).
Cars can be bought outright, on finance or personal contract purchase (PCP) car finance on both new and used.
It is important to think about additional cost when purchasing a vehicle. This cost can include road tax, car insurance, servicing and Ministry of Transport (MOT) test. The choice of petrol, diesel or electric cars may be worth looking into.
The link below is from the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) website, and it includes information drivers in the United Kingdom: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-licensing-agency
Please click here for the most up to date information on international travel and quarantine guidance for travelling into Scotland
Applying for Skilled worker Health and Care Visa
If you require a Health and Care visa the recruitment team will issue a Certificate of Sponsorship following a successful interview and offer.
Visas on average take 4 weeks to process but can take up to 8 weeks. You need to ensure you communicate regularly with the recruiting officers on timescales of police checks and notice periods which often delay starts more than visas being issued.
For information please click here to be directed to our UK Government guidance page.
Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
A BRP can be used to confirm your identity and your right to work in the UK. You will receive a BRP if you apply to come to the UK for longer than 6 months or apply to settle in the UK .
You do not need to apply for a BRP, it will be automatically issued to you after completing your visa application. You must collect your BRP when you arrive in the UK. For full information on BRP and where to collect, please check our UK Government page by clicking here.
Obtaining a National Insurance (NI) Number
If you are an Overseas National new to the UK, NI numbers are now normally issued as standard on the back of your BRP card.
You should inform payroll office as soon as you receive it.
Getting a UK Mobile Phone/Sim Card
Most mobile phones should work when coming to the UK, all you will need is a UK sim card. You may need to get your phone unlocked, please speak with your current network provider to do so.
Not all international mobiles will work in the UK, therefore you may need to buy a new mobile phone. We have plenty of mobile phone providers and you can buy a phone either online or from retail stores.
You can get a UK sim card either online or at retail stores. You can choose from ‘Pay-as-you-Go’ or sign up to a contract deal where you will pay a monthly fee.
Emergency Services Contact Numbers
- Please call 999 for ambulance, police or fire services if there’s a medical emergency – if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
Please call 101 to contact the police to report a crime or incident which is non-emergency and you do not need the police to arrive immediately.
Please call 111 for medical advice or treatment that is not an emergency.
Unlike in England prescriptions are free.
For information and guidance on medical care, medication prescriptions and how to register for a GP Practice and dental care, please visit Citizens Advice Scotland.
Registering with a Dentist
Dental Services across the UK are suffering from long waiting lists for NHS services and many locals are having to turn to private care. The best advice is to contact your local dentist and ask to be put on the waiting list and in should you require any emergency care you can visit the emergency dental services.
Read more on how to access dental services
If a member of your family also works for the NHS we will try to accommodate employment for them.
If they work in another field out with the NHS, Dumfries and Galloway has a range of other job opportunities from teaching, lecturing, retails, trade work, factory work, Agricultural work and more.
If you need any support in looking for a job for your family members please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more information on Scottish Culture and travelling around Scotland check out Visit Scotland.
Some local language you might hear in Dumfries & Galloway:
If you hear someone say ‘Ma heid’s mince’ this doesn’t mean your head has turned into a meat! This Scottish term means ‘My head’s a bit mixed up.’
Here is a few more slang words and expressions that you may hear:
- Auld – Old
- Aye – Yes
- Bairn – Baby
- Blether – Talkative, when referred to a person. To “have a blether” is to have a chat.
- Bonnie – Beautiful
- Crabbit – Bad tempered
- Dae – Do
- Didnae – Did not
- Dinnae – Do not
- Dug – Dog
- Eh? – What?
- Fae – From
- Feart – Afraid
- Gan – Going
- Geeza haun – Give me a hand (help me).
- Greet – Cry
- Hame – Home
- Haud – Hold
- Hoose – House
- How no – Why not
- Isnae – Is not
- Jammy – Lucky
- Ken – Know
- Knackered – Tired/exhausted
- Mair – More
- Mockit, Manky, Mingin’, Boggin’ – All mean dirty
- Minted – Wealthy
- Naw – No
- Oot – Out
- Peely Wally – Pale
- Piece – A sandwich
- Reek – Smell
- Scran – food
- Scunnered – Bored, fed up
- Stookie – Plaster cast (for a broken bone)
- Tattie – Potato
- Wee – small
- Wean – Child
- Wheesht – Quiet
- Yaldi – An expression of joy
‘We’re gan up toon’ – We are going up the town centre
‘Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye’ – Whatever is meant to happen to you, will happen to you
‘Haud yer wheesht!’ – Be Quiet!
‘Ah dinnae ken’ – I dont know
‘Haste Ye Back!’– Farewell saying meaning ‘come back soon’
We have a Spiritual Care Team at NHS Dumfries & Galloway who offer spiritual care to patients, visitors and staff. Whatever your faith, religious beliefs, philosophy or none – the team are able to support everyone.
At Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary and Mountainhall Treatment Centre, we have Sanctuary facilities which are open for prayer, meditation, to find solitude and peace and quiet. Both have access to foot and hand washing facilities. The Sanctuary at DGRI is open 24/7.
Places of Worship
The region has a number of churches and there is 1 mosque based in Dumfries.
Please click on the following links to some of our local faith and belief groups within the region :
We have a range of supermarkets which provide food, drink, alcohol, health and beauty products, household cleaning products, pet supplies, baby supplies, Some of the larger stores also have home decor, clothing, technology departments and even cafes where children can eat free or for a reduced rate during school holidays
Most of our local supermarkets open from 7am and close around 10pm (make sure to check online for store opening times as they can vary throughout the week/year)
We have one supermarket which is open 24 hours.
Some of our Supermarkets offer other services-
Click & collect: You can visit the stores website, place your order online and then you collect from the store at a allocated time slot.
Home delivery: You can visit the stores website, shop online and then you are given a allocated time slot for your shopping to be delivered right to your home address.
Other local food & drink suppliers: You can also shop from our smaller, bespoke, local shops which supply fresh local produce e.g butchers, bakeries and farm shops.
There is also shops which specialise in cuisine from different cultures e.g Polish, Latvian, Romanian mini market & Halal butcher.
We have a number of farmers markets throughout the region. For information on where and when these are click here.
Second hand and charity stores
These stores are great to find bargains and some second hand or charity stores specialise in used furniture which can extremely helpful when moving into unfurnished property.
As well the larger well known internet retailers there is also a growing trend to buy and sell second hand goods via social media platforms. This is a great opportunity for you to pick up some bargains on preloved items.
Like with any purchasing online you must do due diligence before parting with money.
Dumfries and Galloway have a wealth of hobbies from arts and crafts groups to team sports.
Enrolling the children in extra-curricular activities is a good way of getting to meet new people for both the children and yourselves. There are a few activities to consider;
Children can join a team for their age group and compete with other teams in the region. Many of the football clubs organise holiday school where they teach children the basics of football during school breaks. More information can be found here
This is a useful skill for children to have. There are many swimming pools across the region where you can register your child for lessons or just attend public sessions where you can go as a family. Some pools offer sessions just for adults or single sexes. Given the number of water sports on our doorstep and the UK being surrounded by coast it is advisable that all children learn to swim confidentially in the UK.
Dance and Theatre
Throughout the region there a number of dance schools offering a range of dance lessons from contemporary to modern.
As well as dance, adults and children, can join the theatre either for a starring role or in the chorus. Many dance schools are used by theatre groups for shows such as musicals.
Most schools will have a good sports curriculum however there are still an abundance of extra curriculum sports for you and your children to get involved in from Athletics, Contact sports such as Karate, Golf courses, rugby, cricket and running or walking groups. many of the running of walking groups for adults can be found o informal group pages on Facebook.
After School Club
There are huge demands at work and sometimes dropping of kids and picking them from school can be quite challenging. After school club offer the facility of dropping you child at school and picking them up from school earlier or later.
After school clubs open as early as 7am and close as late as 7pm. The children are offered a variety of activities and sports to keep them active. There is however a cost to this service but balancing work and family life can be very challenging especially for a single parent.
There is loads to do across the region If you like the outdoors D&G is the place to be choose from Sailing, Mountain biking, paddle boarding. horse riding, hiking & golfing! Whether its just you, with friends or family you will find something to keep yourself entertained.
Visit South West Scotland has loads of information on things to do around the region.
Fancy a roadtrip? You may have heard of the North Coast 500 a very popular road trip in Scotland but in our region we have our very own South West Coastal 300 road trip which allows you to see he best of South West Scotland click here for more information.
When eating and drinking out our region has loads to offer from small cafes, restaurants, fast food takeaways to pubs & cocktails bars! Alot of our restaurants use fresh local produce! We even have our own local distilleries you can visit. If your wanting a quiet drink, a family meal or a quick coffee with a friend you will be sure to find somewhere in D&G.
Tripadvisor is a good website to use for advice on things to do and places to eat and drink!
D&G isn’t far from loads of major cities so feel free to explore what they have on offer too! In just a few hours you can be in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester Liverpool or why not get the ferry from Stranrear and in a few hours you can be across in Belfast Ireland! You can also catch a train all the way to London in just 4-5 hours!
The region is scattered with a number of eating out establishments and many of them are in the style of public houses, also known as pubs where alcohol is served however families are welcome and the menus are usually quite varied.
For more specialised restaurants that sell a specific cuisine such as Indian, Chinese, Italian or Mexican you will tend to find these in the larger suburban areas with Seafood restaurants usually along the coast.
The larger the city the more variety. it is often advisable to book a table prior to going particularly at the weekends.
For those that are looking for nightlife most pubs have close between 11pm and 12pm but there are a few nightclubs or pubs with extended opening times in the region for those liking to stay out later and again a larger variety in near by cities.