Official data release information


12 December 2023

Next release


Date that data were acquired

October 2023

Release Description

This release contains a summary of mental health inpatient information for Scotland in both psychiatric hospitals and non-psychiatric hospitals, drawn from hospital administrative systems.


Mental Health


Health and social care

Timeframe of data and timeliness

Data up to financial year ending March 2023



Data Sources

Scottish Morbidity Records (SMR) 01 and 04;

National Records of Scotland mid-year population estimates (with recent years rebased following the 2011 census).


It is the policy of PHS to make its web sites and products accessible according to published guidelines.

Continuity and Accuracy of Data

Report includes figures and tables showing time trends from financial year 1997/98 to 2022/23.

The figures in this report are compared to previously published data and expected trends. A PHS data quality assurance exercise for SMR04 was carried out during 2015/16, with assessment of agreed data items at submitting hospital sites across mainland Scotland. In addition, a data quality assurance exercise for SMR01 was carried out in 2014/15.

State Hospital (SMR04) data completeness for 2022/23 is slightly lower than other health boards, at 87%. This incompleteness only affects Quarter 4 (38%) of the financial year. This was due to ongoing staffing issues at the State Hospital. A judgement has been made to proceed with the publication as the lower data completeness for this health board has only a very minor effect on the overall data quality for this release and is very unlikely to affect the patterns of activity seen or conclusions drawn at a national level. Data presented for the year 2022/23 is 99% complete overall, well above the 90% PHS standard for recording of data.


SMR data collections are dynamic and each new publication may include revised data for previous years.

Please see the PHS revisions policy for further details.

Revisions Relevant to this Publication

National Records of Scotland had not yet released mid-year population estimates for 2022 due to staffing issues at the time of this publication. As a result, 2021 population data was used to calculate 2022 rates data. Future publications will therefore provide a more accurate representation of crude rate data for the 2022/23 financial year.

The disclosure control method used in this publication has been updated. Figures are now rounded to the nearest 5 instead of 10 to improve data accuracy.

Previous releases of this publication mentioned "discharges with mental health conditions from all specialties" and "patients with mental health conditions from all specialties" in their summaries. This wording has been updated where appropriate in this release to more accurate wording. For clarification, this publication contains data on cases with a primary diagnosis of a mental health condition in Scottish acute inpatient settings (recorded in SMR01) and data on all cases in Scottish psychiatric inpatient settings (recorded in SMR04), excluding learning disability specialties.

This report uses the 2019 NHS Board and Council Area boundaries throughout, for all years of data.

Future Developments

We welcome suggestions for future developments.

Relevance and key uses of the statistics

Please see the how this data is used section.

Concepts and definitions

Please see the methods used to produce the data section.

Data Quality and Completeness

Please see data quality section.

Pre-Release Access

Under terms of the "Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008", PHS are obliged to publish information on those receiving Pre-Release Access. ("Pre-Release Access" refers to statistics in their final form prior to publication.) The standard maximum Pre-Release Access is five working days.

This Pre-Release Access is for the sole purpose of enabling appropriate bodies the ability to gain an understanding of the statistics prior to open release.

Shown below are details of those receiving Pre-Release Access.

  • Scottish Government Health Department
  • NHS Board Chief Executives
  • NHS Board Communication Leads
UK Statistics Authority Assessment

The Hospital inpatient care of people with mental health problems in Scotland report published in March 2017 was assessed by the UK Statistics Authority in April 2017 and successfully received confirmation of designation as National Statistics.


Disclosure control methods have been applied to the data in order to protect patient confidentiality. Therefore, some figures may not be additive. The PHS Statistical Disclosure Protocol has been followed.

Value type and unit of measurement

In general, figures are shown as numbers, percentages, or rates.

Coherence and clarity

Information published prior to September 2018 is listed on the Mental Health Publications page.

Official Statistics designation

National Statistics


The Office of National Statistics United Kingdom Health Statistics 2010 publication provides a single point of reference for the comparison of key figures between the four constituent countries of the UK. Hospital activity and bed statistics can be found within chapters 6 and 8 respectively. Whilst the four UK countries worked collaboratively to maximise the comparability of the figures, it is important to note that differences between the countries remain in the way that data measures are collected and classified, and because of differences between countries in the organisation of health and social services. The report includes the details of these differences where relevant.

Hospital activity data from England, Wales and Northern Ireland are available separately but should not be directly compared with published data from Scotland.

Last updated: 21 March 2024
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