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Primary Care Out of Hours Services

Emergency Care

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Primary Care Out of Hours Services

Introduction and Background

Across Scotland, NHS Boards provide Primary Care Out of Hours (OOH) services for patients' when their registered GP practice is closed. Previously there was no national reporting of Primary Care OOH activity, all information was maintained in the NHS Board level systems with significant variation in the recording of OOH data across areas.

In 2014, the Scottish Government commissioned the Information Services Division of NHS National Services Scotland, to develop and introduce a dataset to collect nationally consistent information on Primary Care OOH patients (known as the Primary Care Out of Hours Data mart). This was introduced in April 2015. The OOH data mart supports understanding of the activity, demand and capacity at a national level for OOH services and it is hoped that it will be used as a valuable tool to help plan, monitor, develop and improve unscheduled care services. The data will support the understanding of outcomes for patients who have contact with these services.

The collection of data for OOH services will also provide the opportunity for linkage to other national datasets e.g. Unscheduled Care Data Mart, A&E etc. This will provide more comprehensive information on patient access and outcomes following an unscheduled care journey and will also provide additional information to unscheduled care service support delivery.

The national dataset will have the ability to support several aspects of the Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) Quality Indicators for Primary Care OOH Services introduced from April 2014.

Publications from the Primary Care Out of Hours Data mart

Publications from the data mart as well as information on GP Practices that have 'opted in' to provide Out of Hours services for their patients are available via the following link:

National data set collected in Primary Care Out of Hours Data mart

The following diagram, GP Out of Hours national dataset (July 2014) Download Excel file, shows all data items that are collected via ADASTRA as part of the weekly data download received by ISD. Detailed definitions are included in the OOH data set document Download PDF file. Further background information and a glossary can be found here Download PDF file.

NHS Board access to the Primary Care Out of Hours Datamart

Since April 2015, authorised NHS Board colleagues can access the data mart to run reports that have been pre-built by ISD. Later in 2016, NHS Boards will get access to enable them to create reports for their own data i.e. patients resident in their board and those treated in their board.

Please refer to the following section, via the link below, which provides details as to how you can apply for access to Primary Care OOH data mart:

For those that do have access, ISD have prepared a Quick GuideDownload PDF file [286 Kb] to running, saving and printing pre-built reports.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact

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