Inpatient census 2016: guidance and documentation

Guidance and documentation for data suppliers for the Inpatient Census 2016.

This page contains guidance and documentation for data suppliers for the Inpatient Census, 2016. This will be carried out at midnight on 31 March 2016.

The Inpatient Census for 2016 is the follow up to the Mental Health & Learning Disability Inpatient Bed Census, which was carried out for the first time in October 2014. There are three parts to the Inpatient Census:

  1. Mental Health and Learning Disability Inpatient Bed Census
  2. Mental Health and Learning Disability Patients: Out of NHS Scotland Placements Census
  3. Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care Census (for patients who are not occupying Mental Health, Addiction and Learning Disability Inpatient Beds).

Data collection information

Data for the censuses will be collected using ProcXed.Net.

The technical documentation (template spreadsheet and XML schema) for both the main census and the Outwith NHS Provision census can be downloaded from this page.

Notes providing detailed guidance to the staff in NHS Boards who are responsible for providing the data for the censuses is also available from this page.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions relating to the censuses is available below.

A Privacy Impact Assessment has been carried out for this data collection. Information on it is below and  the document is attached. Privacy notices are also attached.

Information on the metadata is also attached as a publication.



Q: The NHS Board that I work for would like to make a single data submission for all hospitals in the NHS Board. How do I do this?

A: It is not possible to do this, as the data collection system has been set up to collect data at hospital level. You will need to make a separate submission for each hospital in the NHS Board.

Q: We have multiple users within one hospital wishing to edit the data at the same time.  Is this possible?

A: No this is not possible. Like all IT systems, a version of the data needs to be managed.  To do this the system will automatically lock so that only the first user that logs in for a hospital/health board can edit the data. When edits are complete the user must unlock the account. To do this go to Menu, Data Returns, Manage Returns and then click on select within the blue action buttons. This will present more detailed tables and new blue action buttons - see the image below. Select “unlock” (bottom right hand corner). The next person to successfully log in for that hospital will then be locked in and allowed to make edits.

Screenshot from ProcXed

Hospital list

Q: The list of hospitals for my NHS Board includes one or more hospitals that do not have any mental health, learning disability or addiction beds.  What should I do?

A: Please send an e-mail to Raymond Buckley with a list of all hospitals that do not have any mental health, learning disability or addiction beds.  Raymond will arrange for these to be removed, so that they will not be available in the data collection system.

Clarification of data item descriptions

Q: Data item 'Postcode of patient's home address on date of audit if changed from admission' - in what circumstances would this be different from their address on admission?

A: This data item is intended to capture scenarios where the patient’s address has changed since admission.  For example, a patient may no longer be able to go back to the same home address they had on admission, or their home postcode may have become the hospital postcode for some long term inpatients.

Only changes to the patient’s home postcode should be recorded, not moves to a different ward or hospital since the patient’s initial admission.

Q: Data field ‘Postcode of Patient’s home address’ – the postcode of a patient is unknown. What should I do?

A: If the patient’s postcode is unknown and all reasonable means of attempting to trace the address have been exhausted then please enter the following in the postcode field: NK01 0AA. If the patient has no fixed abode then NF1 1AB should be entered instead.

Q: Data item 'Admission date' - what admission date should be entered for a patient who has moved between wards since being admitted to the hospital?

A: The admission date would be the date of admission to the general acute hospital.

Q: Data item 'Admission date to psychiatric, addiction or learning disability inpatient bed' - what admission date should be entered for a patient who has moved between wards since being admitted to the hospital?

A: The admission date of the first psychiatric, addiction or learning disability ward that they stayed in during this episode.

Q: Data field ‘Total Psychiatric Admissions in last year’ – should I include patients who were admitted before 1st April 2015 in this total number?

A: Any patients admitted before 1st April 2015 (i.e they have been continuously in a location(s) (hospital / care home) as an inpatient for at least a year) should be returned as having ‘0’  in the ‘Total Psychiatric Admissions in last year’ field.

Q: Data field ‘Mental Health/Learning Disability diagnosis on admission’ – due to continuing assessment the patient does not have a relevant diagnosis code (ICD10 Codes, F00-F99). What should I do?

A:A provisional diagnosis F code should be provided. Z codes will not be accepted.

Q: Data item 'Other diagnosis - co-morbidities including sensory impairment/physical impairment/acquired brain injury' - should this field be used where the patient is registered blind or hard of hearing, but not where the patient wears a hearing aid or requires glasses?

A: This is correct - this field is intended to pick up those patients who are registered blind, registered partially sighted, hard of hearing or have some physical illness or disability, not if they just wear glasses or require a hearing aid.

Questions relating to the template spreadsheet

Q: What version of Microsoft Excel is required to use the template spreadsheets?

A: The templates are in ‘XML Spreadsheet 2003’ format, which should work in Excel 2003 and all later versions.  There have, however, been reports that some users have not been able to open the templates.  Please get in touch with Raymond Buckley if you continue to have issues.

If you are using Excel 2003, please note that it is no longer supported by Microsoft - if you are having problems with the template, we encourage you to get in touch with your IT department as soon as possible to install a newer version.

Q: What should be entered in the ‘Organisation Unique ID field’?

A: Main census: The code for the hospital where the patient is undergoing NHS health care.

Outwith Scotland or out with the NHS census: The code for the health board which is responsible for overseeing the care of the patient (irrespective of the location where the patient is being treated).

Q: I've downloaded the most recent version of the spreadsheet template for the main census, and have copied over data from an older version of the template.  I'm now having problems on the PatientDetails sheet - there are data validation errors for valid data, and some of the drop-down menus are giving the wrong options for the field.  How do I fix this?

A: Older versions of the main census spreadsheet template include a column that should not be there ('Boarding in from other hospital - Ward should have been admitted to', with a drop-down menu of ward types - this will be column 41/AO).  This column has been removed, and the free text field in the next column renamed.

Copying data from an old version of the template and pasting it directly into the new version will overwrite the data validation and drop-down menus in the new version of the template - you can avoid this by pasting the data using Paste Special - Values.

What is a Privacy Impact Assessment?

Any project that involves the collection of personal information inevitably gives rise to privacy concerns.

A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) helps to identify privacy risks, anticipate problems and propose solutions. It is a relatively new self-assessment process for evaluating a proposal:

  • to identify its potential effects upon individual privacy and data protection compliance
  • to ensure that the project complies with the data protection principles and
  • to consider how any negative effects might be overcome.

What is privacy?

Privacy can be defined as follows;

'Interpreted most broadly, privacy is about the integrity of the individual. It therefore encompasses many aspects of the individual's social needs.' (Taken from the Information Commissioner's Office's PIA Handbook)

For the purposes of completing a PIA, the handbook identifies four aspects of privacy:

  • the privacy of personal information
  • the privacy of the person
  • the privacy of personal behaviour and
  • the privacy of personal communications.

The PIA for the Mental Health and Learning Disability Bed Census can be accessed using the links below.

In accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics the Scottish Government have a duty to abide by Principle 5, which covers data confidentiality. In addition to the governance processes which will be in place surrounding data transmission, storage and access, NHS Boards will asked to update their privacy (fair processing) notices for patients and to inform them about how their data will be used by the NHS Board and the Scottish Government.



Mental health bed census: guidance
Mental health bed census: web platform guidance
Patients outwith NHS Scotland: guidance
Hospital based complex clinical care: guidance
Privacy notice: easy read
Privacy botice: standard
Inpatient Census: metadata
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