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National Indicator: Alcohol Related Hospital Admissions

Please note that this indicator is a part of the old National Performance Framework. It is no longer being reported on in the new National Performance Framework. The new framework can be found here:


d Reduce alcohol related hospital admissions

Indicator Measure
The number of general acute inpatient and day case discharges per 100,000 population with an alcohol-related diagnosis

Current Status

The rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2016/17 was 685.2 per 100,000 population. This was 12 per 100,000 (1.8%) higher than the  2015/16 figure of 673.2 per 100,000.

As the change was more than 10 per 100,000 the current status changes from ‘Performance Maintaining’ to ‘Performance Worsening’.

NI 27 graph

* Please note that figures for 2015/16 are provisional.

Source: Information Services Division Scotland
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Last Update: 20 November 2017
Next Update: October 2018

Reduce alcohol related hospital admissions

Why is this National Indicator important?
What will influence this National Indicator?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Criteria for recent change
Further information
Who are our partners?
Related Strategic Objectives

Why is this National Indicator important?

Tackling alcohol related harm is one of the Scottish Government's key public health priorities. Alcohol related admissions give a measure of the amount of harm to physical and mental health that alcohol misuse is causing. Not only is there evidence of the increasingly negative impact alcohol misuse is having on the physical and mental health of individuals, there is also evidence of its effect on wider outcomes such as employment, crime and families.

What will influence this National Indicator?

Alcohol misuse is a complex issue affecting all sectors of society. A wide range of social, cultural and health-related factors influence alcohol related hospital admissions. These include: accessibility and availability; enforcement of existing drinking laws; education and awareness; early intervention; and the availability and use of appropriate services. All of which are compounded by issues such as deprivation, mental health issues and homelessness.

What is the Government's role?

To take forward the actions in our long-term strategic approach for tackling alcohol misuse - "Changing Scotland's Relationship with Alcohol: A framework for Action". This includes action on accessibility and availability of alcohol, raising public awareness of the negative consequences of excessive drinking and stricter enforcement of existing laws. Significant investment in health improvement initiatives, including the roll out of screening and alcohol interventions across a range of healthcare settings.

Given the link between consumption and harm, and evidence that affordability is one of the drivers of increased consumption, addressing price is an important element of any long-term strategy to tackle alcohol misuse. We believe that a minimum price per unit of alcohol would be the most effective and efficient way to tackle alcohol misuse in Scotland. The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill was passed on the 24th May 2012 and this will pave the way for the introduction of a preferred minimum price of 50p per unit. This landmark policy is a significant step forward in the Scottish Government's efforts to tackle Scotland's unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

How is Scotland performing?

In 2016/17 the alcohol-related stay rate per 100,000 population in general acute hospitals was 685.2, an increase compared to the previous year (673.2).

Prior to this there had been a steady decline in alcohol-related admissions since a high point in 2007/08.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

What more do we know about this National Indicator?

Alcohol-related hospital admissions are around three times more common in males compared to females. The rate of hospital stays in 2016/17 was 989.1 per 100,000 for males compared to 381.4 per 100,000 for females. Males accounted for 71% of alcohol-related hospital stays in 2016/17.

Alcohol-related admission rates in General Acute Hospitals increase with age, tailing off in those aged 65 years and over for males and 55 and over for females.

The data is available at the bottom of the page

Criteria for recent change

This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 10 per 100,000 of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A decrease of 10 per 100,000 or more suggests the position is improving; whereas an increase of 10 per 100,000 or more suggests the position is worsening.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Who are our partners?

Local Authorities

NHS Scotland

Related Strategic Objectives


Safer and Stronger


Wealthier and Fairer


View National Indicator Data

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Title:Reduce alcohol related hospital admissions
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