About Our Statistics
As a recognised producer of Official Statistics in Scotland, ISD works to the Code of Practice for Official Statistics which is maintained by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA). Our Official Statistics publications are regularly assessed by the UK Statistics Authority and are designated to have complied with the Code of Practice. UKSA assessment reports on ISD publications are available on their website. We pride ourselves in meeting our obligations under the code for objectivity, integrity and transparency.
The dates of all forthcoming ISD Official Statistics publications are pre-announced on our website in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. Official Statistics publications are released as soon as possible after data is available for release. This means we can make the most up to date health information available to our users, as well as being in line with the Code of Practice. We also 'group' publications as this allows us to better manage the publishing process. Overall, the number of publications and the amount of health data released has increased in recent years which means that there can be times when there is a large number of releases in one day.
We consult users of our statistics and always welcome feedback to help improve what we do. We appreciate that our publications contain complex information and we always welcome the opportunity to provide clarification. If you have any questions about our publications, you can contact the staff listed in the publication or contact NSS Product Support on 0131 275 7050 or NSS.isdSHIS@nhs.net .
The Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 created the UK Statistics Authority and empowered it to determine, and assess compliance with, the Code of Practice for Official 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 April 2015 [235kb] - this list also aims to meet the Official Statistics requirement to produce a 'Statement of Administrative Sources'
- Charging Policy [64kb] - for information requests
- Overview of Quality Assurance Processes [542kb].
- 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 Head of Profession for Statistics
The key purpose of the 'Head of Profession for Statistics' role is to:
- Oversee the professional statistical functions of NSS, Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS24, leading professional statistical planning and the formulation of statistical policy. Accountable for setting goals and standards for these organisations, safeguarding the professional integrity of the statistics produced and for interpreting and implementing the provisions set out in statistical legislation.
Role of the ISD Statistical Governance Team
The ISD Statistical Governance Team provides support to the Head of Profession (Scott Heald) and wider NSS/NHS24/SAS on matters relating to the Statistics Code of Practice, UK and International Statistics and reference data (relating to population, geography and deprivation).
These key areas of responsibility are outlined below:
- Adherence to the UK Statistics Code of practice
The team plays a key role in supporting the Head of Profession in delivering the governance role relating to the Statistics Code of Practice, and a support role to teams involved in the production of official statistics.
- UK and International Statistics
The team leads and/or co-ordinates NSS’s responses to UK and International Compendia (liaising with NHS24 and SAS if appropriate).
- Reference data and Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics
The team leads the maintenance and development of reference data relating to geographical, population and deprivation information (http://www.isdscotland.org/Products-and-Services/GPD-Support) and provides oversight of PHI’s contributions to Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics.
Statistical Governance Team
Tel: 0131 275 6195
Principal Information Analyst
Tel: 0131 275 7253
Senior Information Analyst
Tel: 0131 275 6426
Senior Information Analyst
Tel: 0141 282 2314
Laura Kate Campbell
Tel: 0131 275 6570
Tel: 0131 275 7145