This website places cookies on your device to help us improve our service to you. To find out more about the cookies, see our Privacy and Cookies notice
ISD Scotland better information, better decisions, better health



NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland


Latest Publications

Scottish Health Service Costs (often referred to as the 'Cost Book') is published annually by ISD, with the support of the Scottish Government Health Department (SGHD). The Costs Book is the only source of published costs information for NHSScotland, and provides a detailed analysis of where its resources are spent. The information contained within this report is used in many applications; for example, to ensure greater efficiency by allowing benchmarking comparisons to be made between health care providers.

The Costs Book is currently structured to analyse around 95% of the NHSS net operating costs. This includes £11.2 billion of expenditure on the provision of healthcare (in hospitals, community settings, and primary care) within the 14 territorial NHS Boards, the State Hospital, and the Golden Jubilee National Hospital. Information on two other special Boards that provide direct patient care - the Scottish Ambulance Service and National Services Scotland - is also provided, separately, in Special Boards.

The information in the Costs Book is organised into hospital and primary care service categories. The primary care service is further split into community services and family health services. The range of services covered in each sector includes:

  • hospital services - ranging from complex surgery by consultants at large city hospitals to outpatient clinics at rural community hospitals
  • community services - home visits by district nurses, for example, or prevention services such as breast screening and health promotion
  • family health services - services provided by the family doctor (GP) service and the "High Street" dentists, opticians and pharmacists.

The net operating costs of the NHS Boards are also recorded in their annual accounts. A summary of the annual accounts for 2015/16 is provided in the following report: Rep 086Download Excel file [16kb] - NHS Board Operating Costs and Capital Expenditure. While the Costs Book reconciles with the expenditure reported in Board annual accounts, certain items of income and expenditure are excluded from the analysis of costs presented in the Costs Book reports. Board operating costs include Resource Transfer and healthcare services purchased from local authorities, voluntary organisations and the private sector.

SGHD are responsible for the administration of government finance for NHSScotland. More information on the annual accounts of the NHS Boards is available from the SGHD website.

Summary Reports

Revision Note: Within the publication on the 22 November 2016, the Family Health Sector figures for Tayside had not been updated for 2015/16 and were therefore £5.254m below their anticipated value. All figures and reports in relation to this were subsequently revised on 9 December 2016.

R100Download Excel file [351kb] - executive summary
A summary report, for Scotland and by board, profiling the main elements of the data that is analysed in more detail elsewhere in the Costs Book.

R100TDownload Excel file [479kb] - trend over five years
Similar to the R100 executive summary report but including a comparison with the previous four years.

R300sDownload Excel file [59kb] - net expenditure by board of treatment*, by care type
A series of summary reports, for Scotland and by board, showing expenditure on the main types of healthcare.
* Board expenditure is irrespective of the residency of the patients treated.

Detailed Reports

Costs Book Detailed tables provide further analysis of data for 2015/16.

Full file listings

All Costs Book reports, downloads and SFRs are available on the File Listings page.


Costs Book Archive - data for previous years.


Reference Information - for guidance manuals and reference files.

Please direct enquiries or requests for Costs information to the Costs Book mailbox:

© ISD Scotland 2010
Information Services Division,
NHS National Services Scotland,
Gyle Square,
1 South Gyle Crescent,
Edinburgh EH12 9EB,
Tel: 0131 275 7050  
Contact Us

About Information Services Division | Contact Us | Accessibility | Complaints
Copyright | Terms and Conditions | Privacy | Freedom of Information

ISD is a division of NHS NSS
Working at the very heart of the health service, NSS delivers services critical to frontline patient care and in support of the efficient and effective operation of NHS Scotland. Visit the NSS Website for more information