Trend Data

See the data over time

The charts below provide an overview of Mental Health inpatient admissions and discharges at Scotland, health board and hospital level, including a split of psychiatric or non psychiatric establishment. Also presented is the length of stay by health board as a trend over time. The Data explorer contains more detailed information such as diagnosis information, age/sex breakdowns, deprivation and cross boundary flow.

Mental health inpatient discharges

This section shows the number of discharges from psychiatric inpatient facilities in each financial year since 1997.


In Scotland, psychiatric inpatient discharges have reduced from 32,300 to 19,810 between 1997/98 and 2020/21 whereas non-psychiatric discharges (for Mental Health) have increased from 9,480 to 29,800.

Mental health inpatient admissions

This section shows the number of Mental Health admissions to inpatient facilities in each financial year since 1997. A new admission record is created whenever a patient is admitted to hospital or experiences a change of specialty, consultant, significant facility or hospital, and is assigned to a financial year according to the date of admission.


The number of admissions for Scotland to psychiatric inpatient facilities has steadily declined from 32,010 in financial year ending 1998 to 19,920 in year ending March 2021. The opposite trend can be seen for non-psychiatric admissions (for Mental Health) which have increased from 9,450 in 1997/98 to 29,620 in 2020/21.

Inpatient length of stay

This section describes in more detail the length of stays amongst mental health inpatients. SMR episodes, within their respective datasets, are combined into a continuous inpatient stay to help examine patterns of hospital usage. Therefore one continuous stay in hospital that involves a change of specialty, consultant, significant facility, or hospital will contain more than one SMR episode. However, if a person experiences care in an acute and psychiatric hospital this would be considered as two separate stays. There will be fewer stays than there are admissions or discharges. In this report, stays are assigned to financial year according to the date of discharge of the final episode in the stay.


Between the years 1997/98 and 2020/21, there has generally been a reduction in the time spent as a psychiatric inpatient. This is due in part to the increase in community-based care. The number of mental health stays in non-psychiatric facilities has increased since 1997/98 but most of these stays are quite short (between 1 and 7 days).

Last updated: 13 June 2022
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