Data summary

This release does not include specific COVID-19 information. For PHS Coronavirus information, visit our COVID-19 webpages. Coronavirus in Scotland information (external website) can also be found on the Scottish Government website.

You can view previous publications prior to September 2019 on the archive Public Health Scotland website (external website).

Main points

Please note this release includes Scotland going into emergency measures due to COVID-19. During this pandemic, NHS Boards, hospitals, and healthcare providers have been required to change their normal way of working to manage their COVID-19 response. As such, this is directly impacting on the volume of hospital activity and trends observed over the past couple of years. For example, inpatient and day case activity and outpatient activity has reduced by 15% and 13% respectively, when comparing to July to September 2019 (pre-pandemic). However, activity levels have been recovering from July 2020 onwards, but are still not up to pre-pandemic levels.

Inpatients and day cases

There were 232,663 hospital admissions between 1 July and 30 September 2021. Of these, 52% (120,195) were emergency admissions; 9% (21,718) elective admissions; and 38% (89,493) day cases.


There were on average 13,226 available staffed beds per day for all acute specialties in the quarter ending 30 September 2021. An available staffed bed is one that is available for inpatient or day case care. For all acute specialties in the quarter ending 30 September 2021, the percentage occupancy was 84%.


Image caption Outpatient attendances in NHSScotland, for quarters ending September 2016 to September 2021p

p - Provisional.

There were under one million (919,876) outpatient attendances between 1 July and 30 September 2021. Of these, 32% (292,850 attendances) were new cases. The remaining 68% (627,026 attendances) were patients returning for follow up appointments.

Data quality

There are known issues with the quality of data presented. For more information, please see the Data Quality and Data Trends sections.

Further information

The data for the most recent quarter is provisional. Provisional data is subject to change in future publications as submissions may be updated to reflect a more accurate and complete set of data from NHS boards.

Disclosure control methods have been applied to the data in order to protect patient confidentiality, therefore some figures on total counts may not be additive.

Further information on this publication is available on these web pages. Data from this publication is available to download from our Data files and Data explorer sections of our website and the Scottish Health and Social Care Open Data platform (external website). Supplementary outpatient data is accessible in the COVID Wider Impacts Dashboard (external website).

Previously published information prior to September 2019 are listed on the Hospital Care Publication page (external website). Background information on hospital care can be found in the Hospital Care Topic web page of the PHS website.

The next release of the Quarterly Acute Hospital Activity & NHS Beds publication will be in May 2022.

Publication summary

View the publication summary (PDF, 203KB).

Last updated: 21 March 2024
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