About Our Statistics
ISD is designated by legislation as a producer of official statistics and is obliged to adhere to the Code of Practice and relevant legislation.
Official Statistics are defined as "all those statistical outputs produced by the UK Statistics Authority's executive office (the Office for National Statistics), by central Government departments and agencies, by the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and by other Crown bodies (over 200 bodies in total)." For further information on Official Statistics, see below and also the UK Statistics Authority's website.
Not all ISD publications fall under the Official Statistics banner. Where possible and appropriate, ISD will endeavour to treat such publications in the same manner as Official Statistics publications and for example, provide pre-announcement of publication dates.
Compliance with the code allows official figures and statistical publications to carry the 'National Statistics' label and give recognition that our statistics meet the needs of users, are methodologically sound and of assured quality, politically independent and have been produced and explained to high standards.
The UK Statistics Authority commenced their assessment of ISD's publication against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics in January 2010. The reports for all the assessments to date are published by the UKSA.
We are delighted that the UKSA confirm that, subject to meeting a small number of requirements, all publications to date have been designated with the "National Statistics" kite mark. This demonstrates that the statistics meet the standards set out in the UKSA's Code of Practice for Official Statistics - key principles of the Code of Practice include user engagement, assured quality and support to interpretation of the statistics. We feel that these positive assessments are due in part to close working between ISD and the users of statistics in NHS Boards, Scottish Government and elsewhere; and not least to the efforts of everyone, particularly those staff in NHS Boards, who supply data to the national databases.
ISD is subject to both the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice and Scottish legislation in terms of publication of information. In order to meet our obligations under the code of practice ISD provides:
- Timetable of all ISD Statistical releases due for publication in the coming months. ISD forthcoming publications are also listed on the Scottish Government and UK HUB Publication websites.
- Customer survey [375kb] to provide information about users' experience of our statistical services
- Details of breaches & exemption or exceptions to the code
- Revisions policy [58kb] setting out ISD's policy on revising statistics e.g. changes in methodology, errors et cetera
- Confidentiality and disclosure control [620kb] detailing the guidance and practice ISD staff follow to ensure confidentiality and to assess the risk of disclosure of personally identifiable information
- List of ISD data sources updated March 2012 [280kb] - this list also aims to meet the Official Statistics requirement to produce a 'Statement of Administrative Sources'
- Charging Policy [64kb] - for information requests
- Written evidence for assessment of organisational wide policies [199kb].
More information on Official Statistics
The UK Statistics Authority's statutory objective is to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics. The following can be found on the Authority's website:
- Assessment and monitoring of National Statistics - official statistics can only be designated as 'National Statistics' following a formal assessment by the UK Statistics Authority
- Reports of each assessment carried out by the UK Statistics Authority - the list of UK Statistics Authority published reports
- Programme of assessments to be carried out by the UK Statistics Authority- the list of future assessments to be carried out.
The National Statistics Publications Hub is a gateway to UK National Statistics. All ISD National Statistics and non-National Statistics can be found on this website.
'National Statistics' are a subset of official statistics which have been certified by the UK Statistics Authority as compliant with its Code of Practice for Official Statistics. The label currently comprise three basic types:
- legacy 'National Statistics' - those statistical products which obtained their designation as 'National Statistics' before April 2008, in accordance with the arrangements set out in the 'Framework for National Statistics' (2000) and which have retained their status, but which have not yet been formally re-assessed by the UK Statistics Authority for compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. The Assessment Programme began in November 2008.
- re-assessed 'National Statistics' - any statistical product which has retained its National Statistics status after a formal re-assessment by the Statistics Authority of compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
- new 'National Statistics' - any statistical product which has been proposed by ministers as a candidate 'National Statistics' which has been subject to its first formal assessment by the UK Statistics Authority and which, as a result, has been granted accreditation by the Statistics Authority.
Accredited 'National Statistics' are identified by the following quality mark:
UK and International Statistics
ISD regularly contributes to a range of UK and International Statistics [67kb]. This link provides a summary and links to UK and international reports, for example 'UK Health Statistics'.
Role of the Statistics Support Team
A primary role of the Information Services Division of the NHS National Services Scotland (ISD) is to collate, analyse, interpret and publish information about health and health care in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government (SG) and NHS Scotland.
The Statistics Support Team provides support and guidance on statistical and analytical matters to ISD and other NHS National Services Scotland divisions.
The Statistics Support Team assists in:
- Improving the quality and comprehensiveness of NHS Scotland health and care statistics.
- Adopting best practice in relation to NHS Scotland health and care statistics.
- Implementing the National Statistics Code of Practice consistently across ISD.
Other useful links
- Information Requests including Parliamentary Questions - in addition to releasing information on a regular basis ISD can also carry out bespoke analyses on request.
- Latest releases - link to the latest ISD releases of information.