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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?

Taking Care of Scottish Health Statistics

'Can we make official health statistics better?' was the question posed to attendees at a user engagement event on 17 June. Run jointly by UK Statistics Authority and ISD, this event was run as part of our Transforming Information Programme. The aim of the day was to better understand user needs to help inform improvements in quality, value, accessibility and impact of  information. The event was open to anybody with an interest in health statistics. A report of the day is available from our Transforming Information blog. The Transforming Information Programme is a project focused on finding more effective ways of sharing information about health and care in Scotland.

[20 August 2014]

Community District Nursing Team Activity Dataset consultation closes on 22 August

There are only a few days remaining of the consultation on the draft Community District Nursing Team Activity dataset. We want to ensure that the final dataset reflects both local data needs and current good practice and we welcome your participation in this important consultation process. You can find out more about our consultation at the ‘Community Health Activity Data Project’.

[19 August 2014]

See our News Archive for earlier stories


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Latest Statistics

Published: 14 August 2014
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  • Suicide is a leading cause of death in Scotland among people aged 15-34 years.
  • There were 795 suicides (deaths from intentional self-harm and events of undetermined intent combined) registered in Scotland in 2013. This figure is based on the new coding rules introduced by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) in 2010.
  • The corresponding estimated 2013 figure based on the old coding rules (see Background below) is 746 suicides.
  • In 2013, the suicide rate for males was more than three times that for females.
  • The suicide rate for persons in Scotland reduced by 19% between 2000-02 and 2011-13. This was close to the target of a 20% reduction.
  • Suicide rates are strongly related to deprivation level. In 2009-13, the age-standardised rate was more than three times higher in the most deprived tenth of the population (decile) compared to the least deprived decile (25.7 compared to 7.1 per 100,000 population respectively).
  • Suicide rates vary among NHS board and local authority (LA) areas, but there is considerable year-on-year fluctuation. No NHS board or LA had a significant increase or decrease in the rate for persons between 1983-87 and 2009-2013, and the rates for 2009-13 did not differ significantly from the Scottish average.
Published: 12 August 2014
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  • 43, 680 admissions to 70 Critical Care units (ICUs and HDUs) were included in the audit in 2013.
  • All ICUs now participate in the audit and only four HDUs (excluding Obstetric HDUs) do not participate at this time.
  • More units have a daily review and written management plan by an appropriately trained consultant. This reinforces the setting of daily goals for patients, driven by the Scottish Patient Safety Programme.
  • Night time discharges remain relatively unchanged and range from 0.4-27.8% in ICU and from 0-29.4% in HDU. Night time discharges are forced early discharges to accommodate another patient or are delayed from earlier in the day due to shortage of ward beds.
  • Early discharges also remain relatively unchanged from 2012. Early discharges from Critical Care are unplanned discharges that occur before the patient is deemed medically ready. These occur because of pressure on bed availability or staffing. Early discharges can be used as a marker of insufficient resources. In 2013 early discharges ranged from 0-15% in ICUs and Combined Units, and from 0-8.9% in HDUs.
Published: 12 August 2014
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  • The number of NHS hip and knee arthroplasty operations in Scottish hospitals has continued to show an increase over the past 7 years. There were 7609 primary hip and 7169 primary knee arthroplasties performed in 2013.
  • The number of NHS knee revision operations in Scottish hospitals has decreased from 567 to 463 during the period 2009 to 2013. The number of NHS hip revision operations has decreased from 986 to 953 over the same period. However the trend for hip revision over a longer time period shows an increase in the number of cases.
  • The percentage of NHS hip revision operations undertaken as non-elective cases has increased from 23.3% to 27.6% between 2009 and 2013.
  • A significant number of arthroplasty operations are being performed outwith patients’ NHS Health Board of residence.
  • A relatively high number of NHS hip and knee revision operations are carried out by consultants who perform low volumes of these operations.
Published: 29 July 2014
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  • The Scottish Government HEAT target was to achieve 14,910 completed child healthy weight interventions in Scotland over the three years ending March 2014. By 31 March 2014, there were 16,820 child healthy weight interventions completed across Scotland with all fourteen health boards meeting their individual targets.
  • During the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2014, of the 9,450 completed interventions across Scotland with SIMD data recorded, nearly half (49.0%) were delivered to children/families from the two most deprived local SIMD quintiles (1 or 2)
Published: 29 July 2014
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  • In Scotland, for the two year period 2012 and 2013, the percentage of people diagnosed with breast, colorectal and lung cancer (combined) at the earliest stage (stage 1) was 24.3%.
  • In Scotland, there was a 4.7% increase in the percentage of people diagnosed at stage 1 for breast, colorectal and lung cancer (combined) between the baseline (2010 and 2011 combined) and year 2 (2012 and 2013 combined).
Published: 29 July 2014
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The April 2014 report on the 3,059 people whose deaths from ‘probable suicide’ (intentional self-harm and undetermined intent) were registered in Scotland between January 2009 and December 2012 included details of who they were, where they lived and what happened. The already-published findings on previous contact with health services are repeated below, along with new results (in red italics) on previous psychiatric inpatient care, to complete the picture.

  • Over half (58%) of the Scottish residents in ScotSID had at least one mental health drug prescription dispensed in the community within the 12 months before death. This suggests that they were receiving care for a mental health problem or illness from a healthcare professional such as their GP or staff at an outpatient clinic.
  • At least 20% had been offered a psychiatric outpatient appointment during the 12 months before death; records show that 16% attended their appointment and 4% did not attend.
  • Around 13% had been a psychiatric inpatient/day case discharged within 12 months prior to death. Most of these (87%) had been admitted on a voluntary basis.
  • Nearly one-third of all cases (32%) had been an inpatient/day case in a general hospital within the 12 months before death, and 14% of all cases had had a diagnosis of injury/ poisoning. Over half of these patients (9% of all ScotSID cases) were recorded as having intentionally self-harmed.
  • A&E records showed that 16% attended A&E in the 30 days before death, and 25% attended within the three months before death. These figures exclude attendances which were likely to have resulted from the suicidal act.
  • ScotSID analyses will be developed further to examine healthcare pathways and contact with more than one health service, and to identify further characteristics of individuals with particular risk of suicide. This information will assist health professionals and others to identify opportunities for intervention to reduce future loss of life through suicide.
Published: 29 July 2014
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  • All NHS boards presented showed a decline in the number of admissions, discharges, continuous inpatient stays, patients and residents between 1997/98-1999/2000 and 2010/11-2012/13.
  • The pattern for admissions was similar to discharges. For discharges, several boards showed a decline of around 40% over this time period.
  • The decline in the number of patients (individuals discharged during the year) tended to be slightly less than for discharges, suggesting that in addition to fewer people being admitted in a year, each person had fewer admissions
  • The number of residents (individuals in hospital on 31 March each year) in several boards dropped by over 50% (average for 2011, 2012 and 2013 compared with average for 1998, 1999 and 2000).
  • These patterns are to be expected, due to the shift in recent years in the care of people with mental health problems away from inpatient treatment towards various forms of care in the community.

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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

Customer Survey 2012

Summary report findings from the ISD Customer Survey 2012.

Customer Survey Download pdf file [373kb]

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


If you wish to be kept up to date with ISD Scotland publications and releases please register to use our new myISD service. Once registered we have a wide range of newsletters, bulletins and other services you can choose to subscribe or unsubscribe from.

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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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