NHS Orkney

Hospital Services

Balfour Hospital

About the Hospital

The Balfour Hospital is situated near the centre of Kirkwall. It is a small rural general hospital with 48 beds.

 Follow link to Kirkwall map

Contact details:

Balfour Hospital
New Scapa Road
KW15 1BH

Switchboard telephone number: 01856 888 000


Visiting Times

Family and friends are encouraged to visit patients; however it is important that patient meal times are protected to prevent unavoidable interruptions.
Visiting times and protected meal times per ward are listed below.
In some circumstances visiting times may be flexible through prior arrangement with the nurse in charge of the ward.
Visiting Times
Please avoid meal times
Acute Ward
3:00pm - 4:00pm
and 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Assessment and Rehabilitation Ward
11:00am - 9:00pm
12:00pm – 1:00pm and 4:45pm – 6:00pm
MacMillan Unit
Open visiting
12:00pm – 1:00pm and 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Maternity Unit
2:00pm – 5:00pm
7:00pm – 8:00pm


There are six wards, a day hospital and a day surgery unit:

Surgical Services

Three consultant surgeons provide general surgical services to the islands, in conjunction with three consultant anaesthetists, and provide planned and emergency care.


The Hospital has both a Physiotherapy Department and a Occupational Therapy Department, together with a Casualty and Outpatients Department, Audiology,Radiography (X-Ray) a Pharmacy, the Laboratory, Medical Records, and a Central Decontamination Unit.

Patients requiring specialist treatment are sent to the Scottish mainland, usually Aberdeen.

Outpatient Specialist Clinics

Specialist Outpatients clinics are provided by a dedicated team of visiting consultants who visit the islands at regular intervals - usually once every two or three months.
Day cases in ophthalmology, orthodontics, gynaecology and Ear, Nose and Throat are carried out locally, saving the patient a trip to Inverness or Aberdeen.

Other Facilities

The Balfour Hospital has its own kitchen and laundry. There is a hospital chapel, and volunteers from the WRVS run a small shop for staff and patients.

Services A-Z