Media Release: NHS Lothian gears up for influx of city visitors


NHS LOTHIAN is gearing up for another busy August as thousands of tourists get set to descend on the city for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The Festival Practice, based at the Western General Hospital, is a dedicated service set up to deal with the influx of tourists who are not registered with a GP in the city.

Almost 10,000 people visited A&E at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh during last years Edinburgh Festival – an increase of around 1,000 patients per month.

Dr Sian Tucker, acting clinical director, Lothian Unscheduled Care Service, said: “Visitors should contact NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24 if they feel unwell and they will be given an appointment if necessary – it’s important to stress that the Festival Practice is not a walk-in service.

“The practice treats a range of non-emergency conditions and will help to relieve some of the pressure on our A&E departments which are normally busier at this time of year.”

As well as the Festival Practice, NHS Lothian is also encouraging more people to visit the Minor Injuries Clinic, before going straight to the Emergency Department.

The facility, which is also based at the Western General Hospital, offers assessment and treatment as required and patients with less serious injuries can often be seen quicker, without an appointment.

Dr Dave Caesar, clinical director for emergency medicine, NHS Lothian, said: “We see a big increase in the number of people attending A&E in August and a vast majority of them are not based locally and don’t know where else to go.

“There are a number of other options available for people requiring non-emergency medical treatment – if you have a sprain, cut or burn then you should look to attend the Minor Injuries Clinic which is open seven days at week from 8.00am to 9.00pm.”


Notes for Editors

  • The A&E department at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh is already the busiest in Scotland and with the city’s annual International and Fringe Festivals attracting thousands of visitors this month, NHS Lothian is  gearing up for its busiest time of the year.
  • Visitors to Edinburgh who aren’t registered with a GP should contact NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24 for medical advice and treatment.
  • The Festival Practice is open for four weeks commencing on Monday 6 August 2012 between the hours of 12am and 6pm.
  • The Minor Injuries Clinic at the Western General Hospital is open 8am to 9pm every day. No appointment is necessary.
  • Your local community pharmacy can also provide a range of advice and services.
  • In an emergency, call 999.

MEDIA RELEASE posted by NHS Lothian. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: NHS Lothian
Phone: 01314655648