ISD Scotland publish a wide variety of health-related data including a range of information on mortality. This section of the website aims to provide easy access to all ISD-led publications which include deaths information, as well as identifying other sources of Scottish deaths data.
Deaths information is available for the following topics:
Alcohol Statistics Scotland
A biennial publication that presents the latest available information from a range of national data sources relating to alcohol. The four main sections are: the alcohol market; alcohol consumption; alcohol and health harm; and alcohol and social harm. The alcohol and health harm section includes data on alcohol-related deaths at Scotland, NHS Board and Local Authority levels. It also includes data from ScotPHO on the estimated number of deaths attributable to alcohol consumption in Scotland.
Tel: 0131 275 6324
Tel: 0131 275 6322
Information on cancer mortality is published for all cancers and also by specific cancer type. Annual and five year summary mortality data are available by age, sex, cancer network or NHS Board. Mortality for cancer patients aged under 75 years is also available by cancer network and NHS Board.
(Statistics on specific cancers of interest can be accessed by clicking on the relevant link on the left hand side of this page.)
The cancer information programme publishes information regarding place of death from cancer. This report examines where cancer deaths occur in Scotland, taking into account demographic characteristics and can be used to assist the NHSScotland in defining the type and location of services needed to support cancer patients at the end of life.
0131 275 7777
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
An annual publication that presents a range of information relating to heart disease including hospital activity, incidence, mortality, operations, prevalence, survival, deprivation and GP prescribing.
Heart disease is the second most common cause of death in Scotland where death rates are amongst the highest in Western Europe. In Scotland, almost a fifth of deaths are directly related to heart disease and the majority of those from coronary heart disease.
Coronary heart disease mortality is strongly related to deprivation. Mortality rates from CHD in the most deprived areas in Scotland are almost double those in the least deprived areas. For premature deaths, the inequality gap is even greater.
Tel: 0131 275 7030
Drug Misuse Statistics Scotland
An annual compilation of available information on drug misuse. Much of the information presented has been published previously within other publications. There are three main sections to the report: services and treatment for drug misusers; health impact of drug misuse; and criminal justice and social harm. The health impact of drug misuse section includes information on drug-related deaths in Scotland. The information will differ from the National Drug Related Deaths Database report as this publication includes individuals whose cause of death is intentional self-poisoning.
Tel: 0131 275 6227
Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratios (HSMR)
The Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) aims to reduce hospital mortality by 15% by 2012. Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratios (HSMR) are used by hospitals participating in SPSP to monitor their progress against this target over time. From December 2009 Information Services Division (ISD) has produced quarterly HSMR for all Scottish hospitals participating in the SPSP.
0131 275 7732
0131 275 6881
0131 275 6064
National Drug Related Deaths Database (Scotland)
The National Drug Related Death Database (NDRDD) was established to collect in depth information on the nature and circumstances of individuals who have died a drug related death. This is supplementary to the routine national reporting of drug related deaths in Scotland by the National Records of Scotland (NRS), formerly the General Register Office of Scotland. Drawing from a wide range of data sources, the NDRDD provides a comprehensive picture of these deaths and sets them in a wider context such as the individual's social circumstances and their previous contact with health and criminal justice services.
Tel: 0131 275 6322
Tel: 0131 275 7096
Scottish Audit of Surgical Mortality (SASM)
The Scottish Audit of Surgical Mortality is unique in the United Kingdom. It identifies all deaths that occur in hospital under the care of a surgeon, whether an operation has taken place or not. Participation in SASM is voluntary and encompasses nearly all the surgical specialties. However, obstetric and cardiothoracic deaths are reported at a UK wide level and utilise a different process from that of SASM. Over 1100 consultants (surgeons, anaesthetists, interventional radiologists and intensivists) voluntarily participate in the audit and approximately 3000 deaths are reviewed each year.
Tel: 0131 275 7729
Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group (SICSAG)
The Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group has maintained a national database of patients admitted to adult general Intensive Care Units (ICU) in Scotland since 1995. High Dependency Unit (HDU) activity has been added to this in recent years. The aim of SICSAG is to improve the care of ICU AND HDU patients by systematic, comprehensive audit of their management and outcome.
Each year a report, entitled ‘The Audit of Critical Care in Scotland’, is published which looks at activity and outcomes of care in Scottish intensive care and high dependency units.
0141 201 1184
0131 275 6895
0131 275 6529
Scottish Perinatal & Infant Mortality & Morbidity Report (SPIMMR)
Annual reports on perinatal mortality in Scotland, including a classification according to the obstetric event leading to death, have been produced since 1977. Over time, the report has been expanded to include late fetal deaths (losses from 20 weeks gestation), late neonatal and post-neonatal infant deaths. Since 1987, a paediatric classification which summarises the clinico-pathological events in the fetus or baby has been included to complement the obstetric classification. In recent years, a commitment has been made to address morbidity as well as mortality within the annual report but as yet this only includes information on congenital anomalies. Since the beginning of 2008 the Scottish Stillbirth and Infant Death Survey has been conducted jointly by the Reproductive Health Programme of the NHS Quality Improvement Scotland and ISD.
Tel: 0131 275 6839
Tel: 0131 275 6136
Tel: 0131 275 6149
Scottish Renal Registry (SRR)
The Scottish Renal Registry is a national registry which collects and analyses data on patients who have been diagnosed with renal failure and other renal disorders in Scotland. Data has been collected since 1960, which is the year when regular and routine renal replacement therapy (RRT) for established renal disease (ESRD) started in Scotland. All renal units in Scotland fully participate in the data collection of the Registry.
An annual report is published looking at summary statistics for patients with end stage chronic renal disease; incidence of new patients starting renal replacement therapy, age and diagnosis; prevalence by modality of treatment and survival.
0141 282 2253
0131 275 6167
Scottish Stroke Care Audit (SSCA)
The Scottish Stroke Care Audit was established in 2002 and now includes all hospitals managing acute stroke in Scotland. SSCA is a national audit and is involved in checking the quality of stroke care delivered in these hospitals. An annual national report is published in June which presents performance of all hospitals in Scotland against the NHS QIS Standards for Stroke Care. It also presents other stroke related information and in particular provides information on what boards are doing to improve their performance against the NHS QIS standards and ultimately improve the delivery of stroke care to patients in their local areas.
Tel: 0131 275 7184
Stroke/Cerebrovascular Disease (CVD)
An annual publication that incorporates a wide range of information relating to stroke and cerebrovascular disease including hospital activity, incidence, mortality, operations, survival, deprivation and GP prescribing.
Stroke/CVD is a preventable disease which kills around 5,000 people in Scotland every year. Stroke mainly affects people over the age of 65 but can affect anyone and is the third most common cause of death in Scotland where death rates are amongst the highest in Western Europe.
There is a positive relationship between deprivation and mortality rates for stroke/CVD. The relationship is stronger in the under 65s where the Standardised Mortality Ratio (SMR) is almost 4 times higher for the most deprived 10% of the population compared to the least deprived 10%.
Tel: 0131 275 7030
The aim of the surgical profiles project is to lead to better and more widespread use being made of existing Scotland-wide data sources in guiding improvements to surgical care and outcomes for patients. In order to achieve this aim, a series of clinical indicators are drawn together in one place (the surgical profile), and this is designed to facilitate the use of these data in practice.
The surgical profile presents indicators, for the majority of surgical specialties, in the form of statistical process control charts and broadly covers: the volume of procedures carried out; mortality within 120 days of admission to hospital; post operative average length of stay, and: the rate of readmission to hospital.
The statistical model used to produce the mortality indicators adjusts for case-mix on the basis of: the patient’s primary diagnosis; age; where the patient was admitted from; the number and severity of prior-morbidities they had in the previous year; the number of emergency admissions in the previous year; whether they were admitted as an inpatient or day case; the number and severity of prior-morbidities they had in the previous 5 years; type of admission (elective / non-elective), and; sex.
Tel: 0131 275 7732
Unintentional injury is one of the main causes of death in children. The term "unintentional injury" is preferred to "accidents" as the latter implies events are inevitable and unavoidable whereas a high proportion of these incidents are now regarded as being preventable. Unintentional injuries can occur in any age group, but children and the elderly are more vulnerable.
The annual publication includes information on deaths and emergency hospital admissions by sex, NHS Board, deprivation, type of injury and cause of injury for both adults and children.
0131 275 6573
Other sources of deaths information
The National Records of Scotland (NRS), previously General Register Office for Scotland (GROS), are responsible for the registration of births, marriages, civil partnerships, deaths, divorces, and adoptions in Scotland.
NRS publish a wide range of death-related statistics, including information on deaths from specific causes, winter mortality and time series data. Details of the deaths information available from NRS can be found on their website:
For specific queries about NRS publications and data, please contact them.
The process for doing this is described on their website:
The Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO) website publishes a selection of Scottish all-cause mortality information, as well providing European and International comparisons. Examples of cause-specific mortality are also available in relevant sections of the website:
0141 282 2293