About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland is a data visualisation of the 2018/19 edition of the Prescribing National Therapeutic Indicators (NTIs). The NTIs are a set of prescribing indicators that are used for quality improvement work. The publication is an update of prescribing data analysis up to March 2021. This visualisation presents information by NHS Board, Health and Social Partnership, General Practitioner (GP) practice, GP cluster and practice peer group.

Main points

  • The number of antibiotic items prescribed per 1,000 list size population per day was 0.43 items higher in NHS Lanarkshire (1.42) compared to NHS Lothian (0.99) between January and March 2021.
  • The number of items per 1,000 list size per day decreased across Scotland from 1.73 items in January to March 2019 to 1.19 items in the same period of 2021.

Further information is available from the prescribing webpages (external website).


The data visualisation allows a more in-depth and interactive visual analysis of the current National Therapeutic Indicators paper publication, published by the Effective Prescribing and Therapeutics Branch of the Scottish Government. The visualisation includes a presentation of variation and prescribing trends, and comparisons of Health and Social Care Partnerships, GP clusters and practice peer groups. This update also provides a practice level dashboard showing comparisons between indicators, health and social care partnership trends and an NHS board indicator summary.

This interactive visualisation allows the user to look at the variation in prescribing practice between GP practices and should be useful to both prescribers and associated prescribing staff who want an easy to access visualisation view of prescribing data.

A number of interactive views are available that show:

  • A dropdown menu of indicators by therapeutic area
  • A summary page of indicators by GP practice and NHS board
  • A view of each therapeutic indicator at a specific point in time
  • The prescribing rate for each indicator over time, for Scotland, NHS board and GP practice, by cluster, or by peer group
  • A comparison of data at three different time points for NHS boards, Health and Social Care Partnerships and GP clusters

This is the latest release of the data visualisation as a beta release and further developments will follow, as prioritised by a steering group for this work which is commissioned by the Effective Prescribing and Therapeutics division of the Scottish Government. The update includes expanded detail for a number of indicators to help aid clinicians and prescribing advisers.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be October 2021.

General enquiries

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

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

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: 21 March 2024
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