About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) is the seventh report by the Scottish Trauma Audit Group (STAG) since 2011. The report provides a comprehensive summary of type and severity of injury, patient journey and outcome for Scotland. Compliance with a subset of the Scottish Trauma Network (STN) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is reported for the second time and Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) for the first time.

Main Points

  • The audit covered 27 out of 30 hospitals with an Emergency Department (ED). These hospitals treated over 97% of ED attendances in 2019.

Patients aged 16 years and over

  • STAG report on 5,782 adult patients, of which 20% are classified as having major trauma.
  • 71% of major trauma patients are male and 29% are female. The most common cause for males and females suffering major trauma are falls from two metres or less.
  • 22% of incidents which caused major trauma injury in males involved alcohol. This group had the highest level of injuries involving drugs, both with or without alcohol.
  • The majority of patients, who returned a PROMs questionnaire at six months’ post-injury (n=125), reported improved health and reduced pain.

Patients aged 0-15 years

  • STAG report on 205 children and young people within a paediatric section of the report. 18% of these patients are classified as having major trauma.
  • 49% of major trauma paediatric patients are male and 51% are female.
  • Falls and moving vehicle accidents account for 84% of all paediatric trauma.


  • 6% of all patients died in hospital, rising to 19% of patients suffering major trauma. 57% of major trauma patients who died, died within the first two days.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  • KPI compliance across Scotland as a whole can be seen in the chart below. The Scottish National Audit Programme Governance Process was introduced this year to help drive improvement with performance and will help in developing individual Board action plans to increase KPI attainment.

Summary of KPI compliance (2018 v 2019)

CT – Computerised Tomography scan
GCS – Glasgow coma scale
*Severe head injury is defined as a patient with an Abbreviated Injury Scale (head) ≥ 3
**TXA – Tranexamic acid


STAG is within the Scottish National Audit Programme which is now part of the newly formed Public Health Scotland. STAG’s aim is to improve the quality of care, patient experience and outcomes through measuring compliance against standards of care to support local quality improvement. Full details of the KPIs(external website).

Please see the STAG website (external website) for more information.

Further Information

The next release of this publication will be in summer 2021.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.stag@phs.scot.

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Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 20 November 2023
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