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ISD Scotland better information, better decisions, better health

Information Services Division

ISD Scotland is part of NHS National Services Scotland

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

About ISD

Scotland has some of the best health service data in the world. Few other countries have information which combines high quality data, consistency, national coverage and the ability to link data to allow patient based analysis and follow up. The Information Services Division (ISD) is a division of National Services Scotland, part of NHS Scotland. ISD provides health information, health intelligence, statistical services and advice that support the NHS in progressing quality improvement in health and care and facilitates robust planning and decision making.

More about ISD

What's New in ISD?

Development of NHS Performs website

Information Services Division (ISD) and Health Protection Scotland (HPS) are collaborating with the Scottish Government to develop a new website - NHS Performs.

Over time NHS Performs will bring together a range of different information about the performance of NHS Boards and hospitals in an easy to access format.

ISD and HPS are currently providing the latest available information for an initial range of NHS Board and hospital performance indicators, as well as outlining plans for the development of NHS Performs.

NHS Performs

IVF Publication Consultation

ISD are undertaking a consultation on the format and content of the IVF Waiting Times publication. The consultation will be open until 5 p.m. on Monday 6 April 2015.

IVF Waiting Time Consultation [87Kb] [6 March 2015]

Infection Intelligence Platform

The Infection Intelligence Platform (IIP) is an integrated resource for healthcare associated infection surveillance and research. It is an exciting innovation in the prevention and management of infection and confirms Scotland's position as a world leader in healthcare informatics. The latest IIP newsletter contains updates on progress and dates of forthcoming presentations. [23 February 2015]

Open Data

'Open Data' is data that is freely available for anyone to use, re-use or redistribute it for any purpose without restriction or charge. Our Transforming Information Programme (TRIP) is running pilot projects to explore how ISD can release more data in this way. Margaret McLeod, workstream lead has written this short post about Open Data on the TRIP blog. [23 February 2015]

See our News Archive for earlier stories

Latest Statistics

Published: 31 March 2015
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In the period October - December 2014:

  • Across Scotland, 94.2% of patients started treatment within 62 days of urgent referral with suspicion of cancer. This compares to 93.5% in the period July - September 2014.
  • 97.5% of patients started treatment within 31 days of decision to treat, regardless of the route of referral. This compares to 96.7% in the period July - September 2014.
  • 98.6% of the patients that were urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer from the breast screening programme, 100% from the cervical screening programme, and 87.8% from the colorectal screening programme were seen within 62 days of referral.
  • Across all cancer types, 7 out of 14* NHS Boards (NHS Borders, NHS Dumfries & Galloway, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Lothian, NHS Tayside, NHS Western Isles) met the 95% standard for starting treatment within 62 days of urgent referral with a suspicion of cancer. This is one more NHS Board meeting the standard than in the period July – September 2014.
  • All NHS Boards met the 95% standard for starting treatment within 31 days of decision to treat.
Published: 31 March 2015
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  • In October-December 2014, 96.0% of the 11,212 people who started their first drug or alcohol treatment waited 3 weeks or less (HEAT standard), a slight decrease from 96.9% in the previous quarter.
  • 96.5% of the 7,179 people who started alcohol treatment between October-December 2014 waited 3 weeks or less, a slight change from 97.4% in the previous quarter.
  • 95.0% of the 4,033 people who attended an appointment for drug treatment waited 3 weeks or less, a slight decrease from 96.1% in the previous quarter.
  • Of the 2,391 people who were still waiting to start drug or alcohol treatment, 124 people, or 5.2%, had waited more than 6 weeks at the end of December 2014, compared to 74 people (2.5%) in the previous quarter.
Published: 31 March 2015
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  • The number of new outpatient attendances has remained relatively steady over the past five years, at around 370,000 per quarter. The number of return outpatient appointments remained at around 780,000 for most of the time period, but has dipped more recently to a value of around 738,000.
  • The number of inpatient and day case discharges in acute specialties has increased by around 40,000 since quarter ending December 2009 to around 395,000 in quarter ending December 2014.
  • The number of average available staffed beds since December 2011 has remained relatively stable and continued to show a seasonal trend.
  • Since the Heat 75+ target was introduced in 2009/10, the rate of emergency bed days per 1,000 patients aged 75 and over in Scotland has reduced by a provisional 11.2% from 5,421 in 2009/10 to 4,815 in 2013/14.
  • The In Focus Section analysis shows that people living in the most deprived areas are much more likely to not attend outpatient appointments than those living in the least deprived areas. The DNA rate for the most deprived area is 15 per 100 appointments compared to 6 per 100 appointments in the least deprived.
Published: 31 March 2015
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Overall Cost

  • The gross total payments to Scottish dispensing contractors increased by 3.5% (£30.5 million) from the April to December of 2014/15 compared to the same first nine months of 2013/14.

Services Provided

  • The cost for remuneration of services has decreased by £0.4 million (0.2%) from £155.9 million in the first nine months of 2013/14 to £155.5 million in the same period in 2014/15. This is expected to balance out to negligible over the remainder of the financial year.

Products Dispensed

  • The number of prescription items dispensed in the first nine months of 2014/15 was 76.3 million, an increase of 1.7 million items (2.3%) compared to the same time period in 2013/14. The gross ingredient cost also increased, although at a slightly higher rate (3.4%). Therefore the cost per item has remained fairly stable, increasing slightly from £9.90 per item to £10.01.
  • The net ingredient cost (NIC) paid increased from £708.4 million in the first nine months of 2013/14 to £739.3 million in the first nine months of 2014/15, an increase of £30.9 million (4.4%). The NIC is the cost of drugs and appliances reimbursed after deduction of any dispenser discount.
Published: 27 March 2015
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Calendar year figures:

  • In Scotland, uptake rates by 12 months of age for complete primary courses of immunisation against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio & Hib (the five-in-one vaccine), MenC and PCV remained high in 2014, with rates above 97%.
  • In Scotland the target of the national immunisation programme is for 95% of children to complete courses of the following childhood immunisations by 24 months of age: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Hib (the five-in-one vaccine), MenC and PCV. In 2014, uptake rates of these vaccines remained high at 95% and above. At Scotland level, the 95% target has been met or exceeded since 2002.
  • The national target is for 95% uptake of one dose of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine by five years of age, with a supplementary measure at 24 months. In 2014, annual uptake of one dose of MMR vaccine by 24 months of age reached 95.6% (the previous figure was 95.4%). Uptake of one dose by five years of age was 97.3% (the previous figure was 97.1%). Uptake rates by five years have remained above the 95% target since 2009.
  • At Scotland level, uptake rates were high across all deprivation categories. Uptake rates for completed courses of primary immunisations by 12 months of age were above 97% in all deprivation categories.
Published: 24 March 2015
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Topics updated: Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Deaths, Diabetes, Drugs, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis and Tobacco use.

Published: 03 March 2015
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  • Survival from cancer generally increased between the periods of diagnosis 1987-1991 and 2007-2011.
  • For all cancers combined (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer), five-year age-standardised relative survival in the period of diagnosis 2007-2011 was estimated as 48% for males and 54% for females.
  • Five-year age-standardised relative survival for males diagnosed in 2007-2011 varied from 3.6% for cancer of the pancreas to 93.4% for testicular cancer. For females, survival varied from 5.5% for cancer of the pancreas to 95.1% for malignant melanoma of the skin.
  • Five-year age-standardised relative survival increased by approximately 19 percentage points in males and by approximately 14 percentage points in females over the period covered by this publication.
  • Large absolute increases in five-year age-standardised relative survival were found in multiple myeloma, colorectal cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, kidney cancer, leukaemias and female breast cancer.
  • The differences between males and females in five-year relative survival were comparatively high for some cancers. For females, survival was higher in malignant melanoma of the skin and cancers of the stomach, oral cavity and thyroid. For males, survival was higher in cancer of the bladder and multiple myeloma.
Published: 03 March 2015
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  • The total number of NHSScotland staff in post was 137,511.9 whole time equivalent (WTE) and 160,524 headcount at 31 December 2014. This is an increase of 1.8% and 1.5% respectively since 31 December 2013.
  • The largest group in the workforce continues to be nursing and midwifery, which accounted for 42.9% of all staff with 59,003.8 WTE at 31 December 2014.
  • The number of consultants in post (including Directors of Public Health) recorded has seen an annual increase of 6.4% (294.8 WTE) to 4,900.6 WTE at 31 December 2014. This is partly due to more complete recording of data as boards move to a new national HR system.
  • The total number of combined nursing and midwifery vacancies has decreased by 65.3 WTE since the last quarter to 2,088.3 WTE. However, the number of midwifery vacancies has increased by 29.8 WTE to 100.0 WTE.
  • There are 395.6 WTE consultant vacancies, 163.7 WTE have been vacant for more than six months, an increase of 44.9% (50.7 WTE) since September 2014.
Published: 03 March 2015
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  • During the quarter October to December 2014, 168,526 bed days were occupied by delayed discharge patients. This compares with 154,588 during the quarter July to September 2014 and 134,978 during the quarter October to December 2013.
  • Almost three quarters of total delayed discharge bed days are occupied by patients aged 75 and over.
  • At the January 2015 census, 329 patients were delayed over four weeks which is the national target. This compares with 321 at the October 2014 census and 254 at the January 2014 census.
  • There were 224 patients delayed for over six weeks at the January census. This compares with 215 at the October 2014 census and 151 at the January 2014 census.
  • At the January 2015 census, 517 patients were delayed over two weeks. This compares with 587 at the October 2014 census and 448 at the January 2014 census.
  • The principal reason for delay may change during an individual’s period of delay as arrangements for discharge are put in place. The principal reasons supplied for those who had been delayed for more than four weeks at the January 2015 census (329 patients) were as follows: Awaiting place availability in a care home – 161 patients; Waiting to go home – 95 patients; Awaiting community care assessment – 26 patients; Awaiting funding for a care home placement - 5 patients; Awaiting healthcare arrangements - 11 patients; Other reasons such as disagreements – 31 patients.
  • There were 336 patients reported as ‘Code 9’ delays where the current maximum delay does not apply. Of these, 61 per cent were due to the ‘Adults with Incapacity Act’.
Published: 03 March 2015
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  • During the month ending 31 January 2015: There were 129,269 attendances at A&E services across Scotland; 87.1% of attendances at A&E services were seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours; 3215 (3%) patients spent more than 8 hours in the department; 703 (0.6%) patients spent more than 12 hours in the department; 29% of attendances led to an admission to hospital.
  • The total number of attendances in the last 12 months (1 February to 31 January 2015), and the same period in the previous 2 years were: 2015 - 1,645,639; 2014 - 1,611,887; 2013 - 1,639,159
  • The percentage seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours in the last 12 months (1 February to 31 January 2015), and the same period in the previous 2 years were; 2015 - 92.3%; 2014 - 93.8%; 2013 - 94.1%
Published: 03 March 2015
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  • Unintentional injuries accounted for approximately 1 in 8 emergency hospital admissions for children and 1 in 11 for adults in Scotland in 2013/2014.
  • There were 54,673 emergency admissions to hospital in Scotland for unintentional injuries in 2013/2014. This is approximately an increase of 2% on the previous year.
  • There were 1,664 deaths in Scotland in 2013 due to unintentional injury, 13 in children under the age of 15 and 1,651 in adults aged 15 years and over.
  • There were 33,390 emergency admissions to hospital due to falls in Scotland in 2013/14. This represents 61% of the total number of emergency admissions to hospital due to unintentional injuries.
  • Children and adults in the most deprived areas are more likely than children and adults in the least deprived areas to have an emergency admission to hospital for an unintentional injury.

See all publications

Information Requests

ISD routinely publishes Scotland's official health statistics on the ISD website. If you cannot find the information you require on the website contact our Customer Support Desk by email or call on 01312757777.

Information Requests

National Data Catalogue

The National Data Catalogue (NDC) is a single definitive resource of information on Scottish Health and Social Care datasets that incorporates the Data Dictionary, information on the National Datasets and New Developments.

Visit the NDC website

Media Monitoring

If you would like to know more about what is going on in the health service, you may be interested in Information Services Library's media monitoring service. This provides twice daily updates on health related stories being reported in the Scottish media.

Media Monitoring


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ScotPHO, The Scottish Public Health ObservatoryThe Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO) is a major web resource that has been developed by ISD Scotland in collaboration with NHS Health Scotland and other key national organisations.

Visit the ScotPHO website

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