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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?

Supporting Health and Social Care Partnerships

In order for health and social care partnerships to commission and deliver services that best meet the needs of local communities, they require a clear understanding of the health and care needs of their population, from the perspective of the NHS and local authority. Today, ISD have published two documents to support health and social care partnerships understand the current, and future, health and care needs of their local populations and in commissioning and delivering services to meet those needs.

'A Guide to Data to Support Health & Social Care Partnerships in Joint Strategic Commissioning and Joint Strategic Needs Assessment' along with a paper entitled 'Population Needs Assessment for Health and Social Care Partnerships: guidance on the use of data sources' are now available from our Health and Social Community Care pages.

[8 October 2014]

Consultation on Emergency Department Activity and Waiting Times publication

ISD are consulting on the schedule and content of future releases of the Emergency Department Activity and Waiting Times publication. We would like to hear your views. The consultation will run until 7 November. You can find out more on the Emergency Care pages.

[6 October 2014]

See our News Archive for earlier stories


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Latest Statistics

Published: 18 November 2014
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Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratios - Quarterly Statistics
  • The HSMR for Scotland has decreased by 15.9% between October-December 2007 and April-June 2014.
  • The aim of the Scottish Patient Safety Program (SPSP) is to reduce hospital mortality by 20% by December 2015.
  • Seven hospitals have already shown a reduction in excess of 20%:
  • Since October-December 2007, there has been a reduction in HSMR in 30 of the 31 hospitals participating in the SPSP.
  • Published: 11 November 2014
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  • In 2013 there were 372 patients who received ECT, relating to 454 episodes of treatment.
  • The most prevalent primary diagnosis of patients receiving ECT was depression in the context of both major depressive disorder and its various manifestations (most prevalent depression without psychosis (45%).
  • The most common indication remains resistance to antidepressant medication (55%). In a total of 7% of patients ECT was administered as an emergency life saving treatment. The majority of treatments involved patients deemed to have capacity (i.e. capable of giving informed consent) (67%).
  • 67% of patients who completed an episode of ECT showed significant improvement as evidenced by 50% or greater reduction in MADRS score over the course of treatment. The percentage of patients without capacity who showed this magnitude of improvement was greater than those with capacity (72% v 65%) reflecting the more severe nature of the illness in this group at the outset.
  • The most frequently recorded side effects remains headache (27%).
  • There were a total of 19 critical incidents (less than 1% of all treatments) recorded in the SEAN data but on further investigation the confirmed number was 11.
  • The majority of patients (70%) have received just one course of treatment since the current SEAN audit began in 2005, whilst a small number (4%) have received treatment on 5 or more occasions since 2005. This would appear to be indicative of the relapsing nature of the illness.
  • Published: 28 October 2014
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  • The European Age-Sex Standardised Rate (hereafter referred to as ‘rate’) of general hospital stays with a diagnosis of drug misuse increased steadily between 1996/97 (41 per 100,000 population) and 2013/14 (124 per 100,000 population).
  • In 2013/14, the majority of drug-related general hospital stays were associated with opioids (67%), followed by multiple/other drugs (13%) and cannabinoids (12%).
  • In 2013/14, 92% (6,011) of general hospital stays were as a result of an emergency admission rather than a planned (i.e. elective) admission and 93% of stays (6,087) were for less than one week.
  • Patients admitted to hospital in relation to a drug misuse diagnosis were more likely to live in the most deprived areas in Scotland than in the least deprived areas. In 2013/14, around a third (32%, 1,626/5,010) of patients staying in hospital for treatment in relation to a drug misuse diagnosis lived in the most deprived areas in Scotland (SIMD decile 1).
  • In the period 1996/97 to 2013/14, the rate of patients admitted to hospital for treatment in relation to a drug misuse diagnosis increased among older age range groups (rising from 36 to 300 patients per 100,000 population for 35-39 years, and from 20 to 213 for those aged 40-44 years and over) and decreased among younger age groups (reducing from 92 to 72 patients per 100,000 population for 15-19 year olds and from 194 to 136 for 20-24 year olds).
  • Published: 28 October 2014
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  • Over the last ten years, the overall age-standardised cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers) mortality rate has fallen by 11.4%. Although the rate of death due to cancer has decreased over this period, the actual number of deaths due to cancer has not: this largely reflects an increase in older age groups within the population, and the fact that cancer is a relatively common disease among the elderly.
  • The mortality rate has fallen by 15.0% for males and 5.8 for females over the last ten years. There is also considerable variation in trends for different types of cancer. For example, the rate of female deaths due to breast cancer has decreased by 19.2% over the last 10 years, while female mortality rates due to lung cancer have increased by 6.8% over the same time period. For males, the mortality rate due to lung cancer has decreased by 20.8% over the last ten years while the mortality rate for cancer of the liver has increased by 40.7%.
  • Significant patterns exist when examining incidence and mortality rates by deprivation in Scotland. For all cancers combined, the most deprived areas have incidence rates that are 34% higher than the least deprived areas. Mortality rates are 71% higher in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived.
  • Published: 28 October 2014
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  • More than two thirds (68%) of P1 children had no obvious decay experience in their primary teeth in 2014. This is a large improvement since ISD started recording this information in 2003 (45%).
  • The average number of P1 children’s teeth affected by obvious decay experience in 2014 is 1.27. This is less than half of the average number of teeth affected in 2003 (2.76).
  • Only 53% of P1 children had no obvious decay experience in the most deprived areas compared with 83% in the least deprived areas.
  • Note no obvious decay experience means there are no obviously decayed, missing or filled teeth.
  • Published: 28 October 2014
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    Care Homes for All Adults

  • As at 31 March 2014 there were 1,249 care homes for adults in Scotland providing 42,502 places to 36,751 residents.
  • The majority of care homes for adults, 711 (57 per cent), were run by the private sector, 353 (28 per cent) were run by the voluntary sector and 185 (15 per cent) were run by local authorities or NHS Boards.
  • Published: 28 October 2014
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  • Across Scotland, the overall breastfeeding rate has remained at a broadly similar level over the last decade. There have been slight increases in the rate at the first visit (around 10 days of age) in more recent years due to an increase in mixed feeding where the baby is fed both breast and formula milk.
  • In 2013/14, 48.4% of babies were breastfed at the first visit, falling to 37.9% at the 6–8 week review.
  • There has been an increase in overall breastfeeding rates in the most deprived areas at the first visit over the last decade though there remains a clear association between breastfeeding and deprivation. Mothers in the least deprived areas were nearly three times as likely to exclusively breastfeed at 6-8 weeks compared with mothers in the most deprived areas.
  • Non-smoking mothers were around three times as likely to exclusively breastfeed as mothers who smoke at the first visit. This is likely to be a reflection of an association between smoking and other social and cultural factors. In 2013/14, 39.6% of non-smoking mothers exclusively breastfed their babies, compared with 13.7% of mothers who smoked.
  • Breastfeeding rates vary by geographical area. There are a range of possible reasons for this, including differences of deprivation in the area, local practice in maternity hospitals and primary care teams. A small proportion of this variation may be accounted for by differences in the timing of the 6-8 week review between NHS Boards. The timing of the 6-8 week review is important to consider as there is a known drop-off in breastfeeding rates with time i.e. breastfeeding rates decrease with increasing age of child at the review.
  • Published: 28 October 2014
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  • There were 6,472 THN kits issued in Scotland in 2013/14, through the National Naloxone Programme. This compares with 3,878 kits issued in 2012/13, an increase of 2,594 THN kits (66.9%).
  • A total of 13,808 kits (includes kits issued in the community and from prison) were issued in Scotland between 1st April 2011 – 31st March 2014.
  • There were 5,395 kits issued in the community (an increase of 72% compared to 2012/13) and 1,077 kits issued by prisons (an increase of 44%).
  • Ten NHS Boards increased their distribution of kits issued in the community between 2012/13 and 2013/14, distribution decreased in three and one NHS Board is not currently participating in the programme. Six prisons increased their distribution of kits at liberation in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13, and ten prisons decreased their distribution of kits.
  • The percentage of opioid-related deaths occurring within four weeks of prison release was 9.8% during 2006-10 (baseline period), compared to 8.4% in 2011, 5.5% in 2012 and 4.7% in 2013. This reduction coincides with the introduction of the National Naloxone Programme and distribution of kits to ‘at risk’ prisoners on liberation.
  • The percentage of opioid-related deaths occurring within four weeks of a drug-related hospital discharge was 9.7% during 2006-10 (baseline). This figure fluctuated around the same level in 2011 (10%), 2012 (7%) and 2013 (10%). Currently the National Naloxone Programme is not implemented within the hospital setting, but there would be potential benefits to co-ordinated naloxone distribution from hospitals, especially for older and female high-risk opioid users.
  • Published: 28 October 2014
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  • The estimated number of individuals aged 15 – 64 years old with problem drug use in Scotland in 2013/14 was 59,500. This is an estimated prevalence rate of problem drug use in Scotland of 1.7%. The prevalence rate is the percentage of the population of this age in Scotland.
  • These figures indicate that there has not been any substantial change in the prevalence of problem drug use for Scotland as a whole over recent years.
  • The majority of individuals with problem drug use in Scotland during 2012/13 were male (71%).
  • The rate of problem drug use amongst all males in Scotland during 2012/13 was highest in the 25 to 34 years age-group. For males aged 15 to 24 and those aged 25 to 34, the rates are slightly lower than those previously published for 2009/10, however the rate has increased for those aged 35 to 64. The proportion of all male problem drug users that are aged 35 to 64 has increased from 43% in 2009/10 to 51% in 2012/13.
  • Prevalence rates of problem drug use tend to be higher in non-rural areas; the four major cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow are all above the Scottish rate. Similarly, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire are also higher than the Scottish rate. These Council Areas serve some of the most deprived communities in Scotland according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2012.
  • Published: 14 October 2014
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    • Incidence: 96 patients per million population started RRT for ERF in 2013. The incidence of new patients starting RRT per million population has been stable over the past five years. There were no significant differences in the age, sex and SIMD standardised incidence of patients starting RRT in the 5 years 2009-2013 between NHS Board areas. The incidence of new patients starting RRT in 2013 was highest in those aged ≥ 75 years at 266 patients per million age specific population.
    • Prevalence: On 31 December 2013 there were 4600 prevalent patients receiving RRT. Of these 54.5% of patients had a functioning kidney transplant, 40.5% were being treated with haemodialysis (HD) and 5% with peritoneal dialysis (PD). In contrast to numbers of new patients starting RRT, the numbers of prevalent patients is still rising. There are significant differences in the age, sex and SIMD standardised prevalence of patients receiving RRT on 31 December 2013 between NHS Board areas, with significantly less patients in Lothian, Shetland and the Western Isles.
    • Life expectancy: There is a significant trend of improving survival for patients starting RRT in the 10 years 2004- 2013. However the life expectancy of patients receiving RRT is shorter than that of the general population. The survival of patients is influenced by their age at the time of starting RRT and also by their primary renal diagnosis (PRD).
    • SMARRT: The Scottish Mortality Audit of RRT (SMARRT) study has collected detailed information about the death of patients receiving RRT since 01 January 2008. In 2013 the majority (69%) of patients receiving RRT who died, died in a hospital, 20% died in their home. Cardiovascular disease was the most common cause of death in dialysis patients; malignancy was the most common cause of death in those who died with a functioning kidney transplant.
    • Kidney transplantation: 269 patients received a kidney transplant in Scotland in 2013, 36 (13%) of those transplants were pre-emptive meaning they were performed before the patient had required any other form of RRT.
    • Vascular access for HD: Vascular access describes the connection between a patient’s circulation and a haemodialysis machine. In May 2014 74.1% of HD patients had a form of arteriovenous (AV) fistula which is the best form of access. 25.9% were using central venous catheters which are prone to infection. There were significant differences between renal units. UKRA guideline: minimum standard - 85% of prevalent haemodialysis patients should receive dialysis via an arteriovenous fistula. 47% of patients started HD via AV access in the first six months of 2014, 45% started HD via AV access in 2013. There were significant differences between renal units. UKRA guideline: minimum standard - 65% of incident HD patients should commence HD via AV access.
    Published: 14 October 2014
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    • A decrease of 6.5% in the total number of prescriptions for antibacterials. This is equivalent to a decrease of 276,383 prescriptions in 2013-14.
    • Using prescribing data from Jan-Mar 2014, one year from the baseline, nine of 14 NHS boards met the level three quality indicator target of having at least 50% of practices at or below the baseline 25th percentile or made the minimum acceptable reduction. Overall, 57.5% of practices in Scotland achieved the target.
    • There were 44,173 (11.6%) fewer prescriptions for broad spectrum antibacterials associated with a higher risk of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in primary care in Scotland than in 2012-13. This is the fifth successive year in which a reduction has been observed. Reductions have been observed in 11 NHS boards.
    • The proportion of antibacterial prescribing by nurse prescribers increased by 0.5% in 2013-14 while the proportion of antibacterial prescribing by dentists increased by 0.1% in the same period. Together, nurse and dental prescribing made up 12.9% of all antibacterial prescribing.
    Published: 14 October 2014
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    • Blood Borne Viruses – From 1985 until 31st December 2013, there have been a total of 7,635 HIV infections in individuals reported within Scotland. Of these, 1,494 (20%) were in known PWIDs. Of the 354 new HIV cases reported by NHS boards in Scotland in 2013, 23 (6%) were in known PWIDs.
    • Opioid Replacement Therapy – For the third successive year there has been a decrease in the dispensing of opioid replacement therapy (including methadone). The number of items decreased from 556,711 in 2012/13 to 548,828 in 2013/14 and the number of defined daily doses decreased from 23,875,830 in 2012/13 to 22,686,480 in 2013/14.

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    Information Requests

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    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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