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The Administrative Data Research Network is an ESRC-funded project that ran from October 2013 - July 2018. It is currently at the end of its funding cycle and is no longer taking applications. Administrative data research will be taken forward in a new project, to be launched later in 2018.

SMR04 – Mental Health Inpatient and Day Case, 1981-

Title Details

SMR04 – Mental Health Inpatient and Day Case, 1981-
Principal investigator(s):
Information Services Division - NHS National Services Scotland
Data collector(s):
Information Services Division - NHS National Services Scotland

Subject Categories

  • Health services and medical care - Health


  • Abstract copyright ADRN.

    The Mental Health Inpatient and Day Case dataset (SMR04) dataset collects episode level data on patients that are receiving care at Scottish psychiatric hospitals at the point of both admission and discharge. The dataset contains a wide variety of information such as patient characteristics, mental health diagnosis, length of stay, destination of discharge, whether they are admitted under Mental Health Legislation and any previous psychiatric care. Patient identifiers such as name, date of birth, Community Health Index number, NHS number, and postcode are included together with a wide variety of geographical measures. This includes the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation and Carstairs measures, census output area, NHS Board, Electoral Ward and Parliamentary constituency.

    Note that patients contact with specialist community mental health teams, general practice or outpatient facilities is recorded as part of more general data schemes such as the Outpatient Attendance dataset (SMR00).

    The Mental Health Inpatient and Day Case dataset is available from 1981 onwards via the linked Scottish Morbidity Database. More specifically, the database has been collected since the 1960s, but it is currently available from 1981 onwards and routinely available from 1997. There are some data quality issues with this early data and routine analysis would normally be undertaken from 1997 onwards. In 1997 revisions were made to the dataset in order to better fit NHS Scotland reporting requirements. Separate data catalogues pre and post 1997 which reflect these changes are available in the Documentation Section.

    The Mental Health Inpatient and Day Case dataset covers all residents in Scotland that are admitted to psychiatric hospitals in Scotland. The NHS Information Centre collects similar information for England and Wales. In Northern Ireland, the Hospital Information Branch of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety do likewise.

    National data completeness for psychiatric hospital activity is currently estimated to be 98%. Data is supplied by Hospital Boards to ISD on a continual basis throughout the year with targets to submit their data within six weeks. The dataset is generally fully complete three month preceding the current date. So for example at the end of August, data is available until the end of May.

    The dataset is part of a wide range of health related administrative data collected by the Information Services Division (ISD), on behalf of the NHS National Services Scotland (part of NHS Scotland). ISD has been the authoritative source of Scottish national healthcare statistics for over 50 years. The data is used to enhance decisions about Scottish health care to improve the health of the people of Scotland. ISD is part of the SHIP (ScottisH Informatics Programme), a Scotland wide research platform for the collation, management, dissemination and analysis of Electronic Patient Records. As part of SHIP, ISD delivers Electronic Data Research and Innovation Service (eDRIS), a one stop shop for health research designed to provide a single point of contact and to assist researchers in study design, approvals and data (non-patient or patient identifiable) access in a secure environment (the NSS National Safe Haven).

    The following geographical measures are available:

    • NHS Board of Residence
    • Council Area
    • Local Government District
    • UK Parliamentary Constituency
    • Scottish Parliamentary Constituency
    • Electoral Ward
    • NUTS
    • Community Health Partnership
    • Data Zone
    • 2001 Census Output Area
    • 1991 Census Output Area
    • Postcode
    • Grid References
    • Urban / Rural Codes
    • Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation measures
    • Carstairs Deprivation 2001
    • Carstairs Deprivation 1991

    On April 1st 2006 the configuration of NHS Boards was changed with NHS Argyll & Clyde being dissolved. The larger part of its area moved into NHS Greater Glasgow with the remainder moving to NHS Highland.

    The ISD Data Quality Assurance team is responsible for and ensuring SMR datasets are accurate, consistent and comparable across time and between sources. There are some data quality issues with the early data from 1981. Routine analysis would normally be undertaken from 1997 onwards. It is always wise for researchers unfamiliar with the data to check with their data suppliers and to raise any questions about data quality. Note that, in general, more recent data from ISD is likely to be of higher quality than that of, say, the 1960s.

    The Mental Health and Inpatient dataset excludes admissions to and discharges from the State Hospital at Carstairs.

    The introduction of the 10th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases in April 1996 has resulted in considerable changes to the classification of certain mental and behavioural disorders and, as a result, it is not possible to make direct comparisons at the level of diagnostic groups before and after this date.

    As diagnosis can change between admission and discharge, information on diagnosis is based at time of discharge.

    Between April 1996 and March 1997, NHS Trusts began submitting COPPISH records (COPPISH designates the revisions made to the dataset collection to better meet the needs of ISD Scotland). Some NHS Trusts began submitting COPPISH records on 1st April 1996, others at various times during the year and the rest on 1st April 1997.

    There are several problems in assessing the uptake of mental health services by looking at hospital admissions. Firstly, many conditions will be dealt with mainly in the community and general practitioner referral practices for those that are referred will vary. Secondly, in recent years the Care in the Community policy has led to people increasingly receiving follow up care out of hospital, but the implementation of this policy has proceeded at different rates in different health board areas. Thirdly, the practices and local policies may vary significantly from hospital to hospital, especially with respect to the progress on closure of large mental health institutions since 1990.

    Research Usage and Linkage

    The Mental Health Inpatient and Day case dataset is used by NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government for planning, epidemiology, provision of service and providing comparative information to help improve efficiencies in health care services. The database is used for a wide range of research including investigating mental health benefits claimants with deprivation and comparisons of deaths compared to the general population.

    The Mental Health Inpatient and Day Case dataset records a patient’s CHI number so it is possible to link data to other indexed datasets deterministically. The CHI number is attached by ISD to historical records retrospectively. Approximately, 99% of recent records are CHI complete.

    The Mental Health Inpatient and Day Case is also part of ISD Scotland’s linked database known as the Scottish Morbidity Database. The database links this dataset together the Scottish Cancer Registry (SMR06), Inpatient and Day Case dataset (SMR01), and the National Records of Scotland Death Records. Extracts and information from the linked database are available by application for research access.

    The Scottish Health Survey provides a detailed picture of health of the Scottish population and researchers can also apply to use a linked Scottish Health Survey and Scottish Morbidity Database dataset.

    The Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) provides a detailed picture of the health and social status of the people of Scotland. The SLS can be linked to the Mental Health Inpatient and Day Case dataset and other NHS Scotland health administrative datasets.

    The ISD Scotland Medical Record Linkage team could potentially link the Mental Health Inpatient and Day Case dataset with other external data sources, and Privacy Advisory Committee (PAC) approval will still be required if using patient identifiable data.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period:
1981 -
Observation units:
Events and processes
Kind of data:
Individual (micro) level
All residents in Scotland that are admitted to Scottish psychiatric hospitals from 1981.

Time dimensions:
Repeated cross-sectional study
Sampling procedures:
No sampling (total universe)
Number of units:
Approximately 21,000 records per year
Method of data collection:

Compilation or synthesis of existing material

Data is supplied by Hospital Boards to ISD on a continual basis throughout the year with targets to submit their data within six weeks.

Frequency of release:
Data Updated:

Administrative and access information

Crown copyright
Access conditions:
Contact the Network



By principal investigator(s):

  • ISD Scotland (2003) Anonymisation and NHS Scotland National Data Sets, ISD Scotland.
  • ISD Scotland (2007) Using the Linked Scottish Health Survey to Predict Hospitalisation & Death., ISD Scotland.
  • Scottish Health Informatics Programme (2012) A Blueprint for Health Records Research in Scotland, Scottish Health Informatics Programme.

Resulting from secondary analysis:

  • Stark, C., MacLeod, M., Hall, D., O'Brien, F., Pelosi, A. (2003) 'Mortality after discharge from long-term psychiatric care in Scotland, 1977 - 94:', BMC Public Health, 3(30). 10.1186/1471-2458-3-30
  • Parker, M.C., Wilson, M.S., Menzies, D., Sunderland, G., Thimpson, J.N., Clark, D.N., Knight, A.D., Crowe, A.M. (2004) 'Colorectal surgery:', Colorectal Disease, 6(6), pp. 506-511. 1111/j.1463-1318.2004.00709.x
  • Allardyce, J., Gilmour, H., Atkinson, J., Rapson, T., Bishop, J., McCreadie, R.G. (2005) 'Social fragmentation, deprivation and urbanicity:', British Journal of Psychiatry, 187, pp. 401-406. 10.1192/bjp.187.5.401
  • MacDonald, A., Straughn, J., Sutton, M. (2006) 'Healthy life expectancy measurement in Scotland'.
  • Hanlon, P., Lawder, R., Elders, A., Clark, D., Walsh, D., Whyte, B., Sutton, M. (2007) 'An analysis of the link between behavioural, biological and social risk factors and subsequent hospital admission in Scotland', Journal of Public Health, 29(4), pp. 405-412. 10.1093/pubmed/fdm062
  • Dillon, J.F., McLernon, D. J., Donnan, P. T., Ryder, S., Roderick, P., Sullivan, F. M., Rosenberg, W. (2009) 'Health outcomes following liver function testing in primary care:', Family Practice, 26, pp. 251-259. 10.1093/fampra/cmp025
  • McDonald, S.A., Hutchinson, S.J., Bird, S.M., Graham, L., Robertson, C., Mills, P.R., Hayes, P., Dillon, J.F., Goldberg, D.J. (2009) 'Association of self-reported alcohol use and hospitalization for an alcohol-related cause in Scotland:', Addiction, 104(4), pp. 593-602. 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02497.x
  • Gray, L., Batty, G.D., Craig, P., Stewart, C., Whyte, B., Finalayson, A., Leyland, A.H. (2010) 'Cohort Profile: The Scottish Health Surveys Cohort:', International Journal of Epidemiology, 39(2), pp. 345-350. 10.1093/ije/dyp155
  • McCafferty, S., Doherty, T., Sinnott, R.O., Watt, J. (2010) 'e-Infrastructures supporting research into depression, self-harm and suicide', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 368, pp. 3845-3858. 10.1098/rsta.2010.0142
  • Brewster, D.H., Bansal, N., Bhopal, R., Fischbacher, C., Povey, C., Chalmers, J., Mueller, G., Steiner, M., Brown, H. (2011) 'Cohort Profile:', International Journal of Epidemiology, 40(5), pp. 1168-1175. 10.1093/ije/dyq118
  • Dibben, C., Atherton, I., Doherty, J., Baldacchino, A. (2011) 'Differences in 5-year survival after a 'homeless' or 'housed' drugs-related hospital admission:', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 65(9), pp. 780-785. 10.1136/jech.2009.101352
  • Lawder, R., Grant, I., Storey, C., Walsh, D., Whyte, D., Hanlon, P. (2011) 'Epidemiology of hospitalization due to alcohol-related harm: Evidence from a Scottish cohort study', Public Health, 125(8), pp. 533-539. 10.1016/j.puhe.2011.05.007
  • Satsangi, J., Kennedy, N. A., Clark, D. N., Bauer, J., Crowe, A. M., Knight, A.D., Nicholls, R. J. (2011) 'Nationwide linkage analysis in Scotland to assess mortality following hospital admission for Crohn's disease:', Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 35(1), pp. 142-153. 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04906.x
  • Williamson, A.E. (2011) Patients repeatedly removed from GP lists:, PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
  • Gillies, M., Jhund, P.S., MacTeague, K., MacIntyre, P., Allardyce, J., Batty, G.D., MacIntyre, K. (2012) 'Prior psychiatric hospitalization is associated with excess mortality in patients hospitalized with non-cardiac chest pain:', European Heart Journal, 33(6), pp. 760-767. 10.1093/eurheartj/ehr401

Page last updated: 20/09/2017