This section covers activity in Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments across Scotland. 

This includes:

  • 30 large consultant-led emergency departments (EDs) in Scotland – this is updated weekly
  • 60 minor injuries units (MIUs) and community A&E or casualty units – this is updated monthly

You can view further information about the sites and the data we cover in the metadata section.

Redesign of urgent care

The redesign of urgent care, implemented in December 2020, changed the way people access A&E.

The advice now is that people with non-urgent conditions phone NHS 24 first – this introduces a new 'planned' type of A&E attendance.

The date released here will only cover 'unplanned' attendances, but we hope to be able to report 'planned' attendances when recording is improved.

View the Scottish Government Redesign of Urgent Care.

Performance monitoring

Formal performance monitoring against the 4-hour A&E access standard is based on monthly data for all types of A&E departments.

This means the sum of EDs plus MIUs and smaller community units.

Find out more information about the standard performance against local delivery plan (LDP) standards.

How you can view our data

There are various ways that you can see and use our data:

Latest release: main points

New weekly data

New monthly data

Interactive data

We present a series of interactive charts.

Each chart indicates whether it is updated weekly or monthly. 

We provide information at:

  • national level
  • NHS board level
  • hospital or site level
  • type of site: 
    • emergency department (ED) only
    • minor injury unit (MIU) or smaller community departments
    • all types of A&E site combined

You can select breakdowns by:

  • NHS board area
  • A&E site (hospital)
  • patient demographics
  • time periods of interest

Number of attendances

This section shows the number of A&E attendances over time. 

Large decreases in A&E attendances were observed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but levels have now returned to similar to pre-pandemic levels.

Further information about attendances can be found in the metadata.

All A&E site attendances over time (monthly)

All emergency department attendances over time (weekly)

How long people wait

This section gives more detailed information about how long people wait at A&E departments.

Over the past two years the proportion of A&E attendances being seen within four hours has been decreasing and has remained below 70% since late summer 2021. 

The length of wait at Emergency Departments is generally higher than for all types of A&E sites combined – this reflects that EDs see patients with more serious or complex conditions.

Since 2007 the standard is that 95% of patients are seen within four hours. Formal monitoring of this is based on monthly data for all A&E sites.

Further information can be found in the performance against local delivery plan (LDP) standards and in the metadata section.

Percentage seen in A&E within 4 hours (monthly)

Percentage seen in emergency departments within 4 hours (weekly)

Number of attendances to A&E over 4, 8 and 12 hours (monthly)

Number of attendances to emergency departments over 4, 8 and 12 hours (weekly)

Who attends

This section looks at the demographics of those attending A&E departments.

The information is presented as population rates to help compare between groups.

Individuals living in the most deprived areas account for more than twice as many attendances as those from the least deprived areas.

The elderly and very young (under 5 years old) have the highest attendance rates at A&E.

Attendances at A&E by sex and deprivation status (monthly)

Why people attend

Information on diagnosis or reason for attendance is collected as part of the A&E national dataset. However, there are a number of data quality issues, so we are not currently able to report nationally consistent data on this.

This section provides a breakdown of 'patient flow' – a category assigned to reflect the type of treatment patients need and provide an indication of the reason for the A&E attendance.

Find out further information on patient flow in the metadata section.


When do people attend

This section gives more detailed information about the time of day and day of the week when people attend A&E departments.

Arrivals at A&E department tend to vary considerably throughout the day, with the busiest times throughout the day.

Attendance at A&E by day of week (monthly)

Mondays tend to be the busiest day in terms of average monthly attendances.

Attendance at A&E by time of day (monthly)

Patient pathways: source of referral and discharge destination

This section looks at how people are referred to A&E departments, for example, those who:

  • self present
  • refer through a GP
  • attend A&E via a call to NHS 24 or Scottish Ambulance Service

The most common source of referral to A&E departments is currently those self presenting. This is around 55%.

The section also looks at where patients go after attending A&E departments.

Around 70% of patients attending A&E end up being discharged home.

Downloads and open data

NHSScotland A&E sites

This is a list of all the A&E sites in Scotland. The sites are described as being one of two types - emergency departments or MIU/other.

Files are submitted as either episode or aggregate files. You can see the definitions for these in the glossary.

All sites have been open from before the A&E data mart started collecting data in June 2007 unless otherwise stated. 

NHS board Site type Location name File type Comments
Ayrshire & Arran ED University Hospital Ayr E
Ayrshire & Arran ED University Hospital Crosshouse E
Ayrshire & Arran MIU/Other Arran War Memorial Hospital A
Ayrshire & Arran MIU/Other Davidson Cottage Hospital A Closed from May-10
Ayrshire & Arran MIU/Other Girvan Community Hospital A Opened from May-10
Ayrshire & Arran MIU/Other Lady Margaret Hospital A Opened from Oct-07
Borders ED Borders General Hospital E
Borders MIU/Other Hawick Cottage Hospital A
Borders MIU/Other Hay Lodge Hospital A
Borders MIU/Other Kelso Hospital A
Borders MIU/Other Knoll Hospital A
Dumfries & Galloway ED Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary E
Dumfries & Galloway ED Galloway Community Hospital E Episode file from Dec-07
Dumfries & Galloway MIU/Other Castle Douglas Hospital A
Dumfries & Galloway MIU/Other Kirkcudbright Hospital A
Dumfries & Galloway MIU/Other Moffat Hospital A
Dumfries & Galloway MIU/Other Newton Stewart Hospital E Episode file from Mar-12
Fife ED Victoria Hospital E
Fife MIU/Other Adamson Hospital E Episode file from Oct-16
Fife MIU/Other Queen Margaret Hospital E Changed from ED to MIU 19-Jan-12. Started Submitting episode level data in July-07
Fife MIU/Other St Andrews Community Hospital E Episode file from Jul-17
Forth Valley ED Forth Valley Royal Hospital E ED opened 12-Jul-11
Forth Valley ED Stirling Royal Infirmary E Closed 12-Jul-11
Forth Valley MIU/Other Stirling Health and Care Village E Opened as MIU 12-Jul-11
Forth Valley MIU/Other Falkirk Community Hospital E MIU closed 12-Jul-11
Grampian ED Aberdeen Royal Infirmary E
Grampian ED Dr Gray's Hospital E
Grampian ED Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital E
Grampian MIU/Other Aboyne Hospital A
Grampian MIU/Other Chalmers Hospital A
Grampian MIU/Other Fleming Cottage Hospital A
Grampian MIU/Other Forres Health & Care Centre A MIU opened 08-Sep-14
Grampian MIU/Other Fraserburgh Hospital A
Grampian MIU/Other Insch War Memorial Hospital A
Grampian MIU/Other Inverurie Hospital A
Grampian MIU/Other Jubilee Hospital A
Grampian MIU/Other Kincardine Community Hospital A Aggregate file from Jun-12
Grampian MIU/Other Leanchoil Hospital A MIU closed 07-Sep-14
Grampian MIU/Other Peterhead Community Hospital A
Grampian MIU/Other Seafield Hospital A
Grampian MIU/Other Stephen Hospital A
Grampian MIU/Other Turner Memorial Hospital A
Grampian MIU/Other Turriff Hospital A
Greater Glasgow & Clyde ED Glasgow Royal Infirmary E
Greater Glasgow & Clyde ED Inverclyde Royal Hospital E
Greater Glasgow & Clyde ED Royal Alexandra Hospital E
Greater Glasgow & Clyde ED Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow E Moved from Yorkhill to SGUH 10-Jun-15 08:00 hrs.
Greater Glasgow & Clyde ED Queen Elizabeth University Hospital E Opened 02-May-15 08:00hrs. Re-named from SGUH 03-Jul-15.
Greater Glasgow & Clyde ED Southern General Hospital E Closed 02-May-15 08:00 hrs.
Greater Glasgow & Clyde ED Western Infirmary / Gartnavel General E ED closed 30-May-15 08:00 hrs
Greater Glasgow & Clyde MIU/Other New Stobhill Hospital E New Stobhill Hospital (formerly Stobhill Hospital) until 18 March 2011 this site had both an ED and MIU and from 18 March 2011 there was no ED on site.
Greater Glasgow & Clyde MIU/Other Vale of Leven District General Hospital E
Greater Glasgow & Clyde MIU/Other New Victoria Hospital E New Victoria Hospital (formerly Victoria Infirmary) this site had an ED and an MIU up until 16 May 2015 at 08:00 hrs when the ED closed and the site became an MIU only.
Greater Glasgow & Clyde MIU/Other West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital E MIU opened 30-May-15 08:00 hrs. Closed 23-December-16 21:00 hrs. Re-Opened 3-Jan-18 and Closed 20-Apr-18.
Highland ED Belford Hospital E Episode file from Mar-11
Highland ED Caithness General Hospital E Episode file from Mar-11
Highland ED Lorn & Islands Hospital E Episode file from Apr-12
Highland ED Raigmore Hospital E
Highland MIU/Other Aviemore Health Centre A
Highland MIU/Other Campbeltown Health Centre A Data label error - this should be Campbeltown Hospital
Highland MIU/Other Campbeltown Hospital A
Highland MIU/Other County Community Hospital - Invergordon A
Highland MIU/Other Cowal Community Hospital A
Highland MIU/Other Dunaros Hospital A Closed in Nov-12 - transfer of service to Mull & Iona Hospital
Highland MIU/Other Dunbar Hospital A
Highland MIU/Other Ian Charles Community Hospital A
Highland MIU/Other Islay Hospital A
Highland MIU/Other Lawson Memorial Hospital A
Highland MIU/Other Dr Mackinnon Memorial Hospital A
Highland MIU/Other Mid Argyll Community Hospital And Integrated Care Centre A
Highland MIU/Other Mid Argyll Hospital A Closed in 2006 - should be Mid Argyll Community Hospital And Integrated Care Centre
Highland MIU/Other Mull and Iona Community Hospital A Opened from Nov-12
Highland MIU/Other Nairn Town and County Hospital A
Highland MIU/Other Portree Community Hospital A
Highland MIU/Other Ross Memorial Hospital A Closed 2-Nov-2018.
Highland MIU/Other Victoria Hospital A
Lanarkshire ED University Hospital Hairmyres E
Lanarkshire ED University Hospital Monklands E
Lanarkshire ED University Hospital Wishaw E
Lanarkshire MIU/Other Kello Hospital E Episode file from Mar-19
Lanarkshire MIU/Other Lady Home Hospital E Episode file from Mar-19
Lothian ED Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh E
Lothian ED Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh E
Lothian ED St John's Hospital E
Lothian MIU/Other Belhaven Hospital A Opened from Dec-07. Closed Oct-12
Lothian MIU/Other Edington Cottage Hospital A Opened from Dec-07
Lothian MIU/Other Western General Hospital E MIU & Acute Receiving Unit (ARU) on site
Orkney ED Balfour Hospital E Episode file from Jun-11. Changed to ED 01-Jan-14.
Shetland ED Gilbert Bain Hospital E
Tayside ED Ninewells Hospital E
Tayside ED Perth Royal Infirmary E
Tayside MIU/Other Aberfeldy Community Hospital E Opened from Sep-08. Closed Nov-15
Tayside MIU/Other Arbroath Infirmary E
Tayside MIU/Other Blairgowrie Community Hospital E
Tayside MIU/Other Brechin Infirmary E
Tayside MIU/Other Crieff Community Hospital E Opened from Sep-08. Episode file from Nov-08
Tayside MIU/Other Irvine Memorial Hospital E Closed from Jul-08
Tayside MIU/Other Links Health Centre - Montrose E
Tayside MIU/Other Pitlochry Community Hospital E
Tayside MIU/Other St Margaret's Hospital E Opened from Sep-08
Tayside MIU/Other Whitehills Health and Community Care Centre E
Western Isles ED Western Isles Hospital E
Western Isles MIU/Other St Brendan's Hospital A
Western Isles MIU/Other Uist & Barra Hospital E

Data source: the A&E datamart.
Last updated: 1 March 2021.

Official data release information

Statistical designation

These are Official Statistics.

It is important that users understand that limitations may apply to the interpretation of this data, further details of which are presented in this report.

All official statistics should comply with the UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice which promotes the production and dissemination of official statistics that inform decision making.

Visit the UK Statistics Authority UK website to find out more about the Code of Practice.

Find out more about National Statistics on the UK Statistics Authority website.

Early access

Under terms of the "Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008", PHS is obliged to publish information on those receiving Pre-Release Access ("Pre-Release Access" refers to statistics in their final form prior to publication). The standard maximum Pre-Release Access is five working days.

Shown below are details of those receiving standard Pre-Release Access.

Standard Pre-Release Access

  • Scottish Government Health Department
  • NHS board chief executives
  • NHS board communication leads

Useful unscheduled care resources

System Watch

Urgent care and emergency services across NHS Scotland are subject to seasonal variation and other sources of variation in demand. This demand increases particularly during the winter period.

System Watch aims to:

  • monitor and predict the emergency activity in hospitals
  • provide supporting information gathered from sources across the NHS

Daily or weekly data comes from: NHS boards, Public Health Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS 24, Primary Care Out of Hours service, A&E services and National Records of Scotland. Hospital admissions and beds occupied predictions are available one to six weeks ahead and are based on:

  • on seasonal and weekly variation – including weekend and public holidays
  • current emergency admission activity

Information is available at the following levels:

  • national
  • NHS board
  • Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP)
  • hospital


Discovery is an online tool jointly managed by NHS boards, the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland.

It allows you to access a range of comparative information to support performance and quality improvement.  

The information can help NHS boards to review performance, benchmark against peers and identify areas where resources can be targeted to address local health and care needs.

You can view the data by NHS board of treatment or residence.

Depending on your security access, data is available from a high-level health board overview to low-level person-centred information.

Wider impacts

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam volutpat justo at blandit iaculis. Sed ut faucibus turpis, et mollis ex. Morbi mollis libero eu lacus efficitur, ultrices volutpat est posuere.

Scottish Government urgent and unscheduled care policy

The Urgent and Unscheduled Care Collaborative will see health boards adopt a number of measures to reduce A&E waiting times and improve patient experience, including offering alternatives to hospital–based treatment.

People will also be offered scheduled urgent appointments to avoid long waits in A&E.


Publication title

A&E activity in Scotland


This publication provides weekly and monthly information on activity in Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments across Scotland


Health and Social Care


Unscheduled care



Data source(s)

Public Health Scotland (PHS) delayed discharge monthly data submission.

Date that data are acquired

Number of attendances

How long people wait

Who attends

Why people attend

When do people attend

These data were submitted by NHS boards to Public Health Scotland in July 2022.

Release date

5 July 2022



Timeframe of data and timeliness

Data are available for publication within six to eight weeks of the census month.

Continuity of data

NHS boards submit delayed discharge information to PHS for national reporting purposes.

Revised data definitions manual and national data requirements were effective 1 July 2016. For detailed changes to the definitions since 2005, see page 2 of the latest Delayed Discharge Definitions Manual effective 1 July 2016 and a summary of changes and impact on national reporting. Limited trend information is available pre and post July 2016 due to the definitional changes and relevant notes have been added to the tables to explain this.

Some NHS boards used the EDISON system to record people delayed in their discharge from hospital. During 2018 EDISON was retired and affected boards migrated to their own local system solutions. NHS boards are still required to report on delayed discharges as specified in the data definitions and national reporting requirements effective 1 July 2016, therefore figures remain comparable and we do not expect any reduction in the quality of the data.

Revisions statement

Figures contained within each publication may also be subject to change in future publications. Further detail can be found on the about our statistics section of the website.

Revisions relevant to this publication

This publication has revisions to census figures. Following the consultation on delayed discharges, the census figures, from July 2016 onwards, now include delays due to infection control measures in place at hospital or care home (delay reason codes 26X and 46X) under Code 9-other reasons.

Concepts and definitions

View the delayed discharge data definitions manual (effective from 1 July 2016), national data requirements (effective 1 July 2016) and a summary of PHS validation checks.

Relevance and key uses of the statistics

Key uses of delayed discharge information include monitoring policy obligations both locally and nationally, helping to troubleshoot in partnership areas with specific problems, facilitating benchmarking with other areas, identifying the potential release of resources to focus on more appropriate care and providing useful dialogue between health and social care agencies.

Delayed discharge information is also used to respond to information requests (including FOI requests) from a variety of customers and parliamentary questions.


The data are considered accurate. Data are validated locally by partnerships. PHS carry out further validation checks in consultation with NHS boards.


100% of the data is used for analysis.


Data are not comparable out with Scotland.


It is the policy of Public Health Scotland (PHS) to make its web sites and products accessible according to published guidelines.

Coherence and clarity

All delayed discharge reports are available on this website. Tables and charts are presented within an interactive Excel workbook with drop down boxes.

Value type and unit of measurement

Number of delays by length and reason at the census point.
Number of bed days occupied by delayed patients in a calendar month.
Number of discharges from hospital following a period of delay in a calendar month.


The PHS protocol on statistical disclosure is followed.

Official Statistics designation

National Statistics

UK Statistics Authority Assessment

The statistics last underwent a full full assessment by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) against the Code of Practice in September 2011.

Last published

7 June 2022

Next published

2 August 2022

Date of first publication

Historic quarterly data published from December 2000
Monthly data published from June 2015
First annual publication in June 2016

Help email


Date form completed

16 June 2022


Accident & Emergency (A&E) services

Collectively the term Accident and Emergency (A&E) services includes the following site types:

  • emergency departments
  • minor injury units (MIUs)
  • community A&Es or community casualty departments that are GP or nurse-led

Admission to a hospital bed in the same NHS hospital following an attendance at an ED service.

Aggregate file (A)

Monthly summary attendance figures only


The presence of a patient in an A&E service seeking medical attention.

Emergency department

Includes larger A&E services that typically provide a 24-hour emergency medicine service.

They are consultant-led services.

Episode file (E)

A detailed record for each attendance.


Includes minor injuries units (MIU), small hospitals and health centres in rural areas that carry out emergency department related activity. 

Are GP or nurse-led services.

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation is an area-based measurement of multiple deprivation ranking areas based on 38 indicators spanning seven dimensions of deprivation:

  • employment
  • income
  • health
  • education
  • housing
  • geographic access to services
  • crime


General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.unscheduledcare@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Submit feedback on these pages

Your feedback
Your rating
1 being very poor, 5 being very good
Last updated: 09 December 2022
Was this page helpful?