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ISD Scotland better information, better decisions, better health

Products and Services

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland


ISD has been an authoritative source of Scottish national healthcare statistics for over 50 years. As an experienced healthcare, and more recently social care, partner; ISD is uniquely positioned to provide support in information design, development and application to enhance decisions about healthcare and ultimately improve Scotland's health. We offer a wide range of high quality, high value consultancy services and products tailored specifically to Scottish health needs. These range from provision of interpretation, advice, training and support on new and existing data collections and their application, through to direct access for authorised information analysts and researchers to our key national datasets.

Researchers may also be interested in our cancer clinical trials service or may wish to extend the boundaries of their own data sets (e.g. for follow-up studies) through links with our national data sets. We also maintain a wide range of information tools in areas such as performance monitoring and risk prediction used extensively by NHSScotland to enhance service provision. Our Information Request teams are on hand to advise if you can't find the answers to your questions through our routine publications. See below for further details or contact the Customer Services helpdesk if you are unsure which service you require.

About Our Statistics | ACaDMe | Consultancy | Cancer Clinical Trials Service
Data Definitions & References Data Quality Assurance | Data Recording Advisory Service
Data Support and Monitoring | Datamarts | Discovery | eDRIS
Geography, Population and Deprivation Analytical Support Team | HEAT| Information Requests
Media Monitoring | Navigator | NHS Performs | Research | Scottish Birth Record | SPARRA
Structuring Healthcare Information| System Watch | Terminology Services and Clinical Coding

About Our Statistics

ISD is designated by legislation as a producer of official statistics and is obliged to adhere to the Code of Practice and relevant legislation. The Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 created the UK Statistics Authority and empowered it to determine, and assess compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Open Official Statistics for Scotland

ISD contributes open datasets to which provides access to official statistics from a range of producers of statistics about Scotland for information and re-use. You can explore the data by theme, organisation, or geography. You can also search for datasets, places or enter your postcode to find data about your local area. The data can be viewed as tables, maps and charts or downloaded in various formats. You can read more about this site at or contact at 0131 244 0442.

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ACaDMe stands for Acute Cancer Deaths and Mental Health, the datamart contains linked inpatients and daycase (SMR01), mental health (SMR04), cancer registration (SMR06) and death (GRO) records.

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This Service provides access to a wide range of specialist services and skills across four main areas: consultancy, surveys provision, clinical trials management and direct on site support.

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Cancer Clinical Trials Service

Provides clinical trials services for oncology clinical trials.

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Data Definitions & References

National Data Standards ensure that data are collected throughout Scotland according to the same classifications and rules.

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Data Quality Assurance

Makes sure Scottish Morbidity Record (SMR) datasets are accurate, consistent and comparable across time and between sources. Also looks at non-SMR related data, for example the application of waiting times guidelines.

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Data Recording Advisory Service

An integrated service which provides support for our healthcare partners to enable them to record healthcare data consistently and accurately.

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Data Support and Monitoring

The Data Support & Monitoring team provide a data support and monitoring service to NHS Boards and other health care data providers in the submission of national data sets.

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NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) developed a data warehouse and reporting infrastructure to support information management. This NHSScotland Corporate Data Warehouse now contains a wide range of different data marts for organisations across NHSScotland.

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Discovery is a browser based system providing access to strategic comparative information, data analytics and patient information.

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Electronic Data Research and Innovation Service (eDRIS)

ISD's electronic Data Research and Innovation Service (eDRIS) is a new service designed to provide a single point of contact and to assist researchers in study design, approvals and data access in a secure environment.

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Geography, Population and Deprivation Analytical Support Team

The ISD Geography, Population and Deprivation Analytical Support Team provide analytical advice and support relating to geography, population and deprivation.

This website contains the geography, population and deprivation lookup files used in ISD as well as the information relating to the use of the files.

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ISD supports and maintains the HEAT system, on behalf of the Scottish Government, that NHS Boards and Government use to monitor progress against targets. Information is split into the four HEAT domains: Health improvement: Efficiency and governance: Access to service: Treatment appropriate to individuals.

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Information Requests

For general enquiries, Freedom of Information requests or information not published on the ISD website contact the Customer Support Desk and 0131 275 7777 or email For more details see the Information Requests page.

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Media Monitoring

The Media Monitoring service provides updates on healthcare stories appearing in newspapers and on websites. You can sign up for free to receive two email updates each weekday. We also maintain a database of older stories which contains over 50,000 records.

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Navigator is a web-based information tool designed to meet the needs of key healthcare staff in NHS Boards, Community Health Partnerships (CHPs) and hospitals.

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NHS Performs

Information Services Division (ISD) and Health Protection Scotland (HPS) are collaborating with the Scottish Government to develop a new website - NHS Performs.

Over time NHS Performs will bring together a range of different information about the performance of NHS Boards and hospitals in an easy to access format

As part of NHS Performs, ISD and HPS will provide the latest available information for a range of NHS Board and hospital performance indicators.

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ISD actively contributes to research into health and care. We have compiled a list of peer-reviewed research articles from January 2007 in which a member of ISD staff is a named author.

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Scottish Birth Record

The Scottish Birth Record (SBR) is a national information support system for collection of birth information for all babies born in Scotland. It is implemented in all maternity units in Scotland for national data collection with its primary function to replace SMR11; it also has a clinical module that is increasingly being used by clinicians across Scotland.The Scottish Birth Record (SBR) is a national information support system for collection of birth information for all babies born in Scotland. It is implemented in all maternity units in Scotland for national data collection with its primary function to replace SMR11; it also has a clinical module that is increasingly being used by clinicians across Scotland.

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Scottish Patients at Risk of Readmission and Admission (SPARRA) is a tool developed by Information Services Division (ISD) to predict a patient's risk of being admitted to an acute hospital as an emergency in a particular year.

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Structuring Healthcare Information

More than 300 clinicians contributed to the development of 3000+ clinical data standards across 74 sets of data standards, via the National Clinical Dataset Development Programme (NCDDP) which was established in 2003 (and decommisioned on 31st March 2010).

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System Watch

System Watch is a web-based weekly update of real-time information on current and predicted activity levels across NHS Scotland. It is used by NHS boards and the Scottish Government to monitor and predict pressure on NHS services. The information available includes hospital admissions, beds occupied, NHS24 calls, ambulance call-outs, influenza data and deaths and is available at national, NHS board and hospital levels.

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Terminology Services and Clinical Coding

ISD Terminology Services provides support and guidance in the use of clinical coding and terminology to NHS Scotland and its partners through locally based training training, provision of an Advisory Service and publication of National Guidelines.

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