Outpatient Activity

Patients who require the medical opinion of a specialist clinician may be referred to an outpatient clinic for treatment or investigation. An outpatient is a patient who attends a consultant or other medical clinic or has an arranged meeting with a consultant or a senior member of their team outside of a clinic session. Outpatients are not admitted to a hospital and do not use a hospital bed.

Outpatient attendances can be categorised as new or follow-up (return) attendances. Information on return appointments is only available for datasets that report on NHS Board of treatment. Files reporting on the residency of patients only contain data for new outpatients as the ISD(S)1 data source for return outpatients does not contain residence information. ISD(S)1 also does not record information on the deprivation, age or sex of patients.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Source New outpatient data are sourced from SMR00. Return outpatients are sourced from ISD(S)1.
Author Secondary Care Team
Last Updated February 27, 2024, 09:44 (GMT)
Created November 7, 2019, 10:41 (GMT)
Contact Address Public Health Scotland, Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9EB
Subject Hospital Care
Frequency Quarterly
Time frame of data and timeliness Data from the quarter ending 30 September 2018 to the quarter ending 30 September 2023
Coverage Covers all NHS boards in Scotland.
Completeness For the completeness of SMR00, see https://www.opendata.nhs.scot/dataset/scottish-morbidity-record-completeness
Accuracy https://www.opendata.nhs.scot/dataset/outpatient-activity/resource/84fae0e8-f9f0-4fee-8438-e89ed828dc4b
Continuity of data There are known issues with the quality of data presented. For more information, please see the ‘Continuity and accuracy of data’ section of the official data release information. https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/acute-hospital-activity-and-nhs-beds-information-quarterly/acute-hospital-activity-and-nhs-beds-information-quarterly-quarter-ending-30-september-2023/official-data-release-information/ The quarterly publication should not be used to approximate yearly figures as NHS Boards can update and submit their data monthly, which may result in changes in the recent data shown from one publication to another. This means that there will likely be more variation in the quarterly data which would level off over the year when presenting annual data within the annual publication. Also, it should be noted that the quarterly publication includes acute hospitals only. In addition, only acute specialties are included in the inpatient and day case figures.
Concepts and definitions https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/acute-hospital-activity-and-nhs-beds-information-quarterly/acute-hospital-activity-and-nhs-beds-information-quarterly-quarter-ending-30-september-2023/methods-used-to-produce-this-data-release/ https://publichealthscotland.scot/publications/acute-hospital-activity-and-nhs-beds-information-quarterly/acute-hospital-activity-and-nhs-beds-information-quarterly-quarter-ending-30-september-2023/glossary/ Further details are also available in the Health and Social Care Data Dictionary: https://publichealthscotland.scot/services/national-data-catalogue/data-dictionary/a-to-z-of-data-dictionary-terms/. For detailed information on the data sources and clinical coding used within Hospital Care analysis, please refer to the SMR Datasets, ISD(S)1 data collection: https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/services/data-management/data-management-in-secondary-care-hospital-activity/overview/who-we-are/ and Terminology Services web pages: https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/services/terminology-services-and-clinical-coding/.
Disclosure Disclosure control methods have been applied to the data in order to protect patient confidentiality. Therefore, some figures may not be additive. The PHS Statistical Disclosure Protocol is followed. https://publichealthscotland.scot/publications/public-health-scotland-statistical-disclosure-protocol/public-health-scotland-statistical-disclosure-protocol-version-21/
Revision statement All revisions to data within this release are planned and are due to incomplete data returns at the time of publication. In general, these revisions have minimal effect on the statistics. If data providers discover that data submitted for publication are incorrect and/or missing or incomplete and is significant, they can be re-submitted and published in subsequent releases. Any changes will be highlighted within the publication release. Please see the PHS revisions policy for further details. https://publichealthscotland.scot/publications/public-health-scotland-statistical-revisions-guidance/public-health-scotland-statistical-revisions-guidance-version-3/
Official statistics designation Accredited official statistics. These accredited official statistics were independently reviewed by the Office for Statistics Regulation in November 2012. They comply with the standards of trustworthiness, quality and value in the Code of Practice for Statistics and should be labelled ‘Accredited official statistics'. For more information, please see: https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/acute-hospital-activity-and-nhs-beds-information-quarterly/acute-hospital-activity-and-nhs-beds-information-quarterly-quarter-ending-30-september-2023/official-data-release-information/
Relevance and key uses of the statistics To compare areas and activity across Scotland and view trends over time. To allow NHS Board employees to compare activity levels nationally: for example, NHS clinical consultants interested in their specialty figures by NHS Board, NHS information managers planning capacity to assist in the development of service agreements between NHS Boards. To investigate the implications of common systemic diseases in Scotland as a basis for assessing health demands in the future. To assess whether patients were treated within or outside their own NHS Board. To allow members of the public to readily access information on the number of hospital admissions for specific diagnoses or procedures that may be of personal interest to them. To assist students and universities conducting medical studies for research purposes. To inform private companies interested in hospital activity levels in Scotland, such as pharmaceutical companies, consultancy companies employed by NHS Trusts in England, advertising/media companies on behalf of clients.
Format CSV
Language English
Links

[Quarterly Publication] (https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/acute-hospital-activity-and-nhs-beds-information-quarterly/acute-hospital-activity-and-nhs-beds-information-quarterly-quarter-ending-30-september-2023/)

NHS England Outcomes and Performance, Hospital Episode Statistics (HES)

NHS Wales Hospital Activity

Northern Ireland Hospital Statistics and Research

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