Official data release information

Mental Health Activity data release


23 November 2021

Next release


Date that data were acquired

October 2021

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 2021



Data Sources

Scottish Morbidity Records 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 2020/21.

The figures in this report are compared to previously published data and expected trends. A PHS data quality assurance exercise for SMR04 (external website) 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 (PDF) was carried out in 2019/20.

For this release, data from the State Hospital was only available up until 31 December 2020 at the time of data extraction. This was due to systems issues at the State Hospital. The average number of State Hospital discharges since 1997/1998 is 140 per year and as such the missing fourth quarter for 2020/2021 should not affect the data significantly.


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 (external website).

Revisions Relevant to this Publication

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

Future Developments

Future developments include the addition of new breakdowns in the length of stay analysis, and reviewing the disclosure control method currently used in the report.

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 (external website) 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 (external website).

Official Statistics designation

National Statistics


The Office of National Statistics United Kingdom Health Statistics 2010 publication (external website) 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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