Inpatient census 2017: parts one and two

Results of the third Mental Health & Learning Disability Inpatient Bed Census and Out of Scotland NHS Placements Census, 2017.


This report presents an overview of the results of the third ‘Mental Health & Learning Disability Inpatient Bed Census’ and the ‘Mental Health, Addiction and Learning Disability Patients: Out of NHS Scotland Placements Census’, carried out by the Scottish Government and NHS Boards as at midnight, 30 March 2017. The Census is designed to provide an understanding of who is in hospital funded by NHS Scotland at a point in time and for what reason.

The Census will also enhance the Scottish Government’s and NHS Scotland’s understanding of mental health, addiction and learning disability services more generally and about the patients who use these services. This analytical evidence will inform policy development and service planning, both nationally and locally.

To enable further research and statistical analysis, extracts of the Census datasets may be made available for approved researchers.

Scope of Census

Following on from the first Census held in October 2014, a review of the scope, frequency and questions were undertaken by Scottish Government in collaboration with NHS Boards. This led to a number of differences between the 2014 Census and the 2016 Census. Most notably, a third part to the Census was introduced in 2016 in order to reduce duplication for NHS Boards. The 2017 Census is similar in nature to the 2016 Census.

Part 1: Mental Health and Learning Disability Inpatient Bed Census

Part 2: Mental Health, Addiction and Learning Disability Patients: Out of NHS Scotland Placements Census

Part 3: Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care Census (for patients who are not occupying Mental Health, Addiction and Learning Disability Inpatient Beds)

Collectively, the three parts make up the Inpatient Census. This report covers Part 1 and 2 of the Inpatient Census. A separate report will be available in October 2017 covering all patients who are in receipt of Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care.

Information is presented on a range of demographic and clinical breakdowns, including an additional section focusing on Forensic Services.

It should be noted that as this is only the third year of the Census, the data collection systems and quality assurance processes in place are still being developed. However, the underlying data has undergone extensive validation by NHS Boards and Scottish Government Statisticians and is therefore being published as Official Statistics. All figures are provisional and may be subject to change in future publications.

Accompanying data

An accompanying spreadsheet containing the data behind this report, as well as some summary information at NHS Board level will also be made available at the following link:

Staff in NHS Boards will also be able to request access to more detailed analysis, which will be accessed through a secure online website. This will provide more graphical representations of the data, as well as the ability to drill down to hospital and ward level for the users’ health board. Access is granted by a nominated NHS Board authoriser. For more details please contact

Future plans for the Census

A repeat of the Census is intended to be carried out at the end of March 2018, and any methodological changes will be informed by this year’s Census.


Email: Guy McGivern,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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