Mental Health & Learning Disability Inpatient Bed Census, 2014

Overview of the results of the first Mental Health & Learning Disability Inpatient Bed Census, carried out by the Scottish Government and NHS Boards as at midnight, 29 October 2014. The report provides evidence for Commitment 26 of the Mental Health Strategy for 2012 to 2015, but also enhances the Scottish Government’s and NHS Scotland’s understanding of mental health, addiction and learning disability services, and about the patients who use these services.

1(a). Overview of patients being treated in NHS Scotland facilities

Overview of patients being treated in NHS Scotland facilities

There were 3,909 inpatients being treated in NHS Scotland facilities at the census. The table below shows the number of mental health, learning disability and addiction inpatients being treated in each board.

It should be noted that NHS Grampian, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, NHS Lothian and NHS Tayside contain Regional Units which provide services to patients from other NHS Boards. NHS Fife also provide a low secure Learning Disability Regional Unit for the treatment of patients from other NHS boards. NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland do not have any mental health, learning disability or addiction inpatient beds, their patients are treated by other health boards or by other healthcare providers on behalf of NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland.

NHS Board of treatment Number of patients
NHS Ayrshire & Arran 198
NHS Borders 59
NHS Dumfries & Galloway 77
NHS Fife 256
NHS Forth Valley 217
NHS Grampian 339
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde 1,105
NHS Highland 169
NHS Lanarkshire 346
NHS Lothian 670
NHS Orkney 0
NHS Shetland 0
NHS Tayside 334
NHS Western Isles 18
State Hospital 121
Scotland 3,909

Age and gender

The following chart gives a high level analysis of the age and gender of patients in the Mental Health & Learning Disability Inpatient Bed Census:

Number of patients, by age and gender

Number of Patients, by age and gender

The most noticable finding is the large number of working-age males in the census. Further findings include:

  • Around two thirds of patients in the 18-39 age group (68%) and the 40-64 age group (64%) are male.
  • The gender split for over 65s is almost 50/50 (51% female)
  • 22% of all patients are aged 18-39, 35% are aged 40-64 and 42% are aged 65+.
  • Few patients are less than 18 years old.

More information on at age breakdown-level is available in section 1b of this report.

On Pass

Patients who are "On Pass" are still formally considered inpatients of a hospital, but are permitted planned leave for varying lengths of time as part of their recovery care plan This includes those whose detention under the Mental Health Act has been suspended. At the October census there were 145 patients in Scotland who were on pass for at least that overnight period.

Boarding from another hospital

If a patient is "boarding" from another hospital, then they are staying in a hospital outwith their local catchment area. 40 people were boarding in from another hospital at the October 2014 census. 32 out of the 40 patients were "boarding" from a hospital in the same NHS Board as the one they were being treated in.

Available Beds, by NHS Board

Of the wards covered by the census, there were 4,532 available mental health, addiction and learning disability beds in Scotland at the October census, compared with 3,909 patients (86% of the total available beds figure). The bed occupancy rate varied between NHS Board, as shown in the following table:

NHS Board Available beds Patients Bed occupancy
NHS Western Isles 19 18 95%
NHS Lothian 711 670 94%
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde 1,176 1,105 94%
State Hospital 132 121 92%
NHS Borders 65 59 91%
NHS Forth Valley 240 217 90%
NHS Grampian 383 339 89%
NHS Highland 195 169 87%
Scotland 4,532 3,909 86%
NHS Tayside 409 334 82%
NHS Lanarkshire 450 346 77%
NHS Fife 346 256 74%
NHS Dumfries & Galloway 107 77 72%
NHS Ayrshire & Arran 299 198 66%
  • NHS Ayrshire & Arran had the lowest rate of patients to available beds with 66%.
  • For both NHS Lothian and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, the rate of patients to available beds was 94%.

Annex A contains analysis of available beds for each NHS Scotland facility.

Ward Security Level

As part of the census, NHS Boards were asked to record the security level of the ward in which the patients were staying. The number of patients in each ward security level is shown in the following chart:

Number of patients, by ward security level

Number of patients, by ward security level

Around 80% of patients were in a ward with a security level of "General Psychiatric Ward".

Analysis on more topics can be found in section "1(b). Adult patients in NHS Scotland facilities, by age group", but not presented here to avoid duplication. Additional topics include:

  • Ward Type
  • Specialty of Consultant
  • Length of Stay in hospital
  • Self-harm
  • Observation Level
  • Selected Conditions
  • Source of Referral
  • Crisis Contacts
  • Service Decision to Admit Patient
  • Delayed Discharge


Email: David Scott / Ellen Lynch

Back to top