NHS Orkney

Hospital Services

Balfour Hospital

About the Hospital

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


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.