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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?

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Benchmarking Release

Our Mental Health Benchmarking tools have been designed to support staff drive continuous improvement in the provision of mental health services in Scotland.

The latest CAMHS Benchmarking Toolkit and Dashboard (for data up to September 2014) contains information on the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) waiting times and workforce statistics.

Changes to Publication Release Practices

Following consultation with users of our statistics, ISD will be changing its publication release practices. From January 2015, ISD will move to publishing on a weekly basis where previously, official statistics were ‘bunched’ into one main release date each month. That process was originally introduced to allow better management the publishing process and ensure like publications were grouped together.  However, over recent years, the number of publications and the amount of health data released has increased which means there can be times when are over 20 releases in one day.  At our joint user engagement event with the UK Statistics Authority in June 2014, we received a clear mandate from users from a number of different sectors to review our current release practices. Decisions about the appropriate date to release a statistical publication will be based on allowing adequate time from data collection to publication, ensuring all quality assurance is completed before preview to NHS Boards and Scottish Government to a pre-announced publication timetable, adhering to the principles in the UK Statistics Code of Practice.

The latest post on our Transforming Information blog explains more:

[Updated 24 November 2014]

See our News Archive for earlier stories


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Latest Statistics

Published: 13 January 2015
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Update to Tobacco control profiles on the ScotPHO website, including some new indicators at National Local Authority and Health Board level. The tool includes spine charts, rank charts and time trends.

Published: 19 December 2014
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Childhood immunisation uptake rates by 12 and 24 months of age, and 5 and 6 years of age, for the quarter ending September 2014.

Published: 16 December 2014
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62-day Standard

  • The 62 Day Standard is that 95% of patients urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer will wait a maximum of 62 days from referral to first cancer treatment.
  • In the quarter ending 30 September 2014, 93.5% of patients started treatment within 62 days of urgent referral with suspicion of cancer. This compares to 92.9% in the period April – June 2014.
  • In the quarter ending 30 September 2014, the 62-day standard was not met for eight NHS Boards: NHS Grampian, NHS Highland, NHS Orkney, NHS Shetland, NHS Fife, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NHS Forth Valley, and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

31-day standard

  • The 31 Day Standard is that 95% of all patients, regardless of route of referral, will wait a maximum of 31 days from decision to treat to first cancer treatment.
  • In the quarter ending 30 September 2014, 96.7% of patients started treatment within 31 days of decision to treat, regardless of the route of referral. This compares to 96.3% in the period April – June 2014.
  • In the quarter ending 30 September 2014, the 31-day standard was not met for two NHS Boards: NHS Highland and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde; NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde were borderline with 94.9%.
Published: 16 December 2014
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Overall Cost

  • The gross total payments to Scottish dispensing contractors increased by £21.4 million (3.8%) in the first six months of 2014/15 compared to the first six months of 2013/14.

Services Provided

  • The cost for remuneration of services has decreased by £0.6 million (0.6%) from £102.7 million in the first six months of 2013/14 to £102.1 million in the same period in 2014/15. This is expected to balance out over the remainder of the financial year.

Products Dispensed

  • The number of prescription items dispensed in the first six months of 2014/15 was 50.5 million, an increase of 1.3 million items (2.6%) compared to the same time period in 2013/14. The gross ingredient cost also increased, although at a slightly higher rate (3.5%). Therefore the cost per item has remained fairly stable, increasing slightly from £9.83 per item to £9.91.
  • The net ingredient cost (NIC) paid increased from £462.4 million in the first six months of 2013/14 to £484.5 million in the first six months of 2014/15, an increase of £22.1 million (4.8%). The NIC is the cost of drugs and appliances reimbursed after deduction of any dispenser discount.
Published: 16 December 2014
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  • The number of new outpatient attendances has remained relatively steady over the past two years.
  • Following an increase between September 2012 and September 2013, the number of return outpatient attendances decreased by approximately 34,000 (5%) between quarter ending September 2013 and quarter ending September 2014.
  • The number of available staffed beds and occupied beds continues to display seasonal variation, increasing from September to March and decreasing from March to September.
  • 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 12.9% from 5,420 in 2009/10 to 4,721 in 2013/14.
Published: 16 December 2014
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  • The number of GPs contracted to work for NHS Scotland has risen by about 10% since the agreement of the General Medical Services Contract (Scotland) in 2004. Currently there are around 4900 GPs in post across Scotland.
  • Since 2004, the GP workforce has changed from mainly being male (55% in 2004) to mainly being female (only 44% males in 2014).
  • The population of GPs has aged alongside its patients. In 2014, 45% of the male GPs, and around a quarter of the female GPs, were aged 50 years and over. In 2004 this was 38% and 17%, respectively.
Published: 16 December 2014
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  • In July-September 2014, 96.9% of the 11,238 people who started their first drug or alcohol treatment waited 3 weeks or less (HEAT standard), the same percentage as the previous quarter.
  • 97.4% of the 7,335 people who started alcohol treatment between July-September 2014 waited 3 weeks or less, a slight change from 97.6% in the previous quarter.
  • 96.1% of the 3,903 people who attended an appointment for drug treatment waited 3 weeks or less, a slight increase from 95.6% in the previous quarter.
  • Of the 2,843 people who were still waiting to start drug or alcohol treatment, 48 people, or 1.7%, had waited more than 6 weeks at the end of September 2014, compared to 44 people (1.5%) in the previous quarter.
  • This publication does not include complete data for NHS Lothian due to issues moving to a new Patient Management System (PMS).
Published: 16 December 2014
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  • The most recent annual estimates for Scotland are for boys born in 2013 to live 77.1 years on average, 60.8 of these in a ‘healthy’ state. Girls born in 2013 would be expected to live 81.1 years on average, 61.9 of these years being ‘healthy’.
  • Underlying trends in both LE and HLE at birth show a general improvement in Scotland over recent years.
  • Time trends show that the gap between the sexes, in both LE and HLE at birth, has narrowed over time. For LE at birth the difference between males and females was 6.4 years in 1980, falling to 4.0 years in 2013. For HLE at birth, the difference between males and females was 3.3 years in 1980, falling to 1.1 years in 2013.
Published: 16 December 2014
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  • In 2013/14 uptake of the teenage Td/IPV booster vaccination among S3 pupils was 84.2%. This is a small increase on the 2012/13 uptake of 83.4%.
  • For pupils in S4 in school year 2013/14 uptake had reached 87.1% by the end of the school year. This is a marginal increase on the 2012/13 uptake for S4 pupils of 86.9%.
  • Since September 2013, teenagers have been offered the MenC booster vaccination in S3, at the same time as the Td/IPV booster. Uptake of the MenC booster vaccine among S3 pupils was 83.6% in 2013/14.
Published: 16 December 2014
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  • Between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2014 the number of 27-30 month reviews completed was 43,102.
  • Estimated review coverage for 2013/14 was 73%. Estimated coverage gradually increased over the year and by the last quarter (January to March 2014) had reached 92%.
  • In 2013/14, 72% of all children receiving a review had no concerns recorded against all of the nine developmental domains assessed as part 27-30 month reviews.
  • Speech, language & communication was the domain where most concerns were identified. 10% of children reviewed had a concern newly identified about their speech, language & communication and an additional 3% already had a known concern in this domain prior to their review.
Published: 09 December 2014
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Chronic Liver Disease (CLD)

  • There were approximately 16 CLD deaths per 100 000 population in Scotland in 2013, similar to the rate in 2012.
  • Between 1993 and 2003, there was a sharp increase in CLD mortality rates in contrast to the majority of European countries where CLD death rates have been decreasing. Since the peak in 2003, CLD mortality rates have generally decreased.
  • In the three year period from 2011 to 2013, CLD mortality rates were 4.7 times higher in the most deprived quintile (32.8 per 100 000 population) compared to the least deprived quintile (6.9 per 100 000 population).
  • Between 1982/83 and 2013/14, there has been an almost four-fold increase in CLD patient rates (from 41.5 to 147.8 per 100 000 population)
Published: 02 December 2014
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  • The total Board operating costs increased by 2.4% to £10.5bn in cash terms (not adjusting for inflation) compared to 2013. In real terms, (taking inflation into account) the total Board operating costs increased by 0.7% compared to the previous year
  • £5.9bn was spent within the hospital sector. In cash terms, this was an increase of 2.3% compared to 2013. In real terms the increase was 0.5% compared to 2013. The hospital sector accounts for the largest part of expenditure (56.9%) and contains costs for the larger hospitals.
  • £1.8bn was spent within the Community sector; a cash terms increase of 4.7% compared to 2013. The corresponding real terms increase was 2.9%. The community sector contains the smaller hospitals which serve their local communities, as well as community services delivered outside hospitals.
  • Family health sector expenditure, which includes the cost of running local GP practices as well as local pharmacy, dental and ophthalmic services, amounted to just under £2.4bn in 2014; a cash terms increase of 1.1% and a real terms decrease of 0.6% compared to 2013.
  • Published: 02 December 2014
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    Overall staff

    • The total number of NHSScotland staff in post continues to increase with 136,684.7 whole time equivalent (WTE) and 159,748 headcount on 30th September 2014.

    Staff groups

    • The annual increase in staff of 1.9% WTE is mainly due to increases in:
      - nursing and midwifery (1,038.5 WTE),
      - medical (528.8 WTE)
      - administrative services (395.5 WTE)
      - allied health professions (244.5 WTE).
    • The largest group in the workforce continues to be nursing and midwifery, which accounted for 42.7% of all staff with 58,407.5 WTE at 30th September 2014.
    • The number of consultants in post (including Directors of Public Health) has seen an annual increase of 6.7% from 4,584.6 WTE at 30th September 2013 to 4,890.7 WTE at 30th September 2014. This is partly due to better recording of data as boards move to a new national HR system.


    • On the 30th September 2014, the total number of vacancies for :
      - consultants (including Directors of Public Health) was 339.3 WTE, a rate of 6.5%.
      - nursing and midwifery was 2,291.3 WTE, a rate of 3.8%.
      - allied health profession was 487.4WTE, a rate of 4.1%.
    • The number of consultant vacancies has increased from 213.1 WTE (4.4%) on 30th September 2013.

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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

    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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