Across Scotland care services that provide emergency and urgent care twenty four hours a day, Monday to Friday also have the additional challenge of meeting urgent public demand during weekends and, the focus of this analysis, during extended holiday periods. These extended holiday periods, which happen at Christmas, New Year and at Easter, often involve changes in the availability of certain services over the four consecutive days of the period. In the case of Christmas and New Year the two four day periods run consecutively.
Services affected include: General Practice, Community Pharmacy, NHS 24, Primary Care Out of Hours, ( PC OOH), the Scottish Ambulance Service ( SAS), Accident & Emergency, acute hospital services and acute social care services, as well as the professional care services that mainly deliver social care in the longer term.
As the public make contact with and receive care or advice from these services, service data usage is recorded. In many cases these data are collated by ISD at national level enabling ISD analysts to interrogate and summarise the available data.