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In numbers: How the NHS serves patients across Scotland

The Scottish health service works with an annual budget of around £13.2bn.

Across the UK, the national health service is celebrating its 70th birthday.

Working within a budget of around £13.2bn a year, the Scottish NHS pays for medical staff, vital drugs, equipment, hospital meals and more for everyone in society.

The health service in Scotland spends £420 every second, paid for by our tax contributions.

Let's take a closer look at how the NHS carries out its mission for patients and other service users across the country.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1421917-four-in-five-scots-satisfied-with-the-health-service/ | default

Cash per head

On average, the health service spends more than £2400 on each person in Scotland every year - the second highest figure in the UK.

It compares to around £2220 in England, £2300 in Wales and £2700 in Northern Ireland.

Partly, this is down to there being more remote, sparsely-populated areas in Scotland and Northern Ireland than in other parts of the UK.


https://stv.tv/news/features/1421819-nhs-staff-say-their-job-gets-harder-and-harder-every-year/ | default

As of March 31 this year there were 139,919 staff employed by NHS Scotland.

These include 59,892 people in nurses or midwifery roles, 12,517 in medical roles, 591 in dental roles and 2587 in ambulance service positions.


NHS midwives delivered 52,862 babies across Scotland in 2017.

This works out as about 4405 every month - or 157 births each day.

Patients and beds

Around 1.1 million Scottish residents (about one in five of the population) visited an outpatient department in 2016/17 - an average of more than 3000 every day.

For inpatients, the available beds for acute specialties was 13,644 that year - 9481 for medical specialties and 4163 for surgical.

Nearly half of all inpatients - a total of 585,580 - were emergency admissions, while 465,802 (38%) were treated in a day case setting and 164,805 (13%) were elective inpatient admissions.

The average length of stay in hospital for elective inpatients is 3.7 days and for an emergency inpatient is 6.9 days.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1405055-number-of-nhs-beds-in-scotland-plummets/ | default

Accident and emergency

In 2016/17, there were more than 1.6 million attendances at around 90 locations providing A&E services across Scotland.

A&E attendances were generally higher in summer months and lower in winter months.

May saw the highest average daily number of attendances (4791) with a second peak in September (4704), and January saw the lowest (4150).


More than 1.2 million procedures were carried out in an acute hospital setting in 2016/17.

This works out as a staggering 3380 operations every day across Scotland.

These figures do not include diagnostic imaging and testing procedures.

https://stv.tv/news/features/1421900-uncle-s-tribute-to-nhs-after-child-burned-in-gas-explosion/ | default


NHS Scotland serves around 15 million patients meals across Scotland in 2017/18.

At NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde alone, the health board estimates 10,000 meals a day - 3.6 million each year.

These include 220,000 specialist diet meals, as well as almost 250,000 servings of potatoes each year.

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