Dear Ed

Presentation of findings from the Discharges from NHSScotland hospitals to care homes report

 Thank you for your letter of 14 January 2021 relating to the above report.  As you know, Public Health Scotland is building on the good practice in the publication of statistics from ISD Scotland, one of its constituent parts, and I’m pleased that you have recognised the team’s efforts to present the information in the report in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.   This report was produced by experts from within Public Health Scotland and Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Your specific pointers on the complex statistics presented in tables 10 and 11 are helpful.  We recognise that the analysis undertaken in section 2 of the report is complex and therefore may be confusing for some readers.  Given this complexity and the high profile nature of this report, the report team were involved in a number of briefings for key stakeholders, including the media, to walk them through our results and to give the opportunity to ask questions.  We have also received direct feedback from users of the report too.  Our aim is to be as open and transparent about the analysis and conclusions as possible, and your comments and separate feedback from users (through the briefing sessions and direct correspondence) will enable us to provide even greater clarity for readers in interpreting the statistics in subsequent iterations of the report.

The team are currently working on further analyses which we intend to publish as an update to the existing report – we will pre-announce publication dates in due course.  At the same time, we will take the opportunity to update the existing sections in the report to take on board your comments and ensure all aspects of the analyses undertaken are explained in an understandable way for all users.

The team would also be happy to engage directly with the individuals who have contacted you so that we can talk through their points.

If you have any further questions about this report, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks,


Scott Heald

Head of Profession for Statistics, Public Health Scotland.


Cc   Dr Jennifer Burton, University of Glasgow

Professor Bruce Guthrie, University of Edinburgh

Fiona Mackenzie, Public Health Scotland.


Related links:

Ed Humpherson to Scott Heald: Presentation of findings from the Discharges from NHSScotland hospitals to care homes report