Data opportunities

This page includes an overview of the data support and sources available to practices and clusters and how to access them. It also includes top tips on how to use the data with examples from others. You can find more information on the ISD Scotland Sparks page.


Data support

Local intelligence support (LIST)

LIST has been providing on-site expert analytical support helping to source, link and interpret data. LIST offers to help provide support to Primary Care Cluster Quality working and to help address the key requirements outlined within the ‘Improving Together’ Framework.

How do I get in contact?

The LIST team is deployed across Scotland to support Health and Social Care integration and Primary Care GP Clusters. Contact your locally embedded LIST analyst. (PDF) 


Data sources


Scottish primary care information resource (SPIRE)

SPIRE provides a platform for practices to see information about their patients, through reports on topics such as practice activity, vaccination uptake and multimorbidity. Practices can requests small amounts of information relating to specific purposes. Some examples include:

  • Practice activity
  • Vaccination uptake, and
  • Multimorbidity

How do I get access?

If you wish to request data through SPIRE please complete the data request form either on the SPIRE website or the offline version. Your LIST analyst (PDF) can also support you with planning your request.


Primary care information dashboards

They provide a single access point for GPs and practice staff to see health care information for their GP Practice and Cluster. The information is delivered through a set of Tableau dashboards, and show comparisons at Scotland, NHS Board and HSCP. It can show:

  • Disease Prevalence
  • Demographics
  • Outpatients
  • Admissions
  • Prescribing
  • “High Health Gain” patient listings
  • Health and Social Care "Pathways Population Matrix"

How do I get access?

Instructions for GPs on how to access PCI can be viewed in our How-To-Access-PCI Guide.

Once access has been granted, the dashboards can be viewed by entering the username and password at For further support email


NSS discovery and GP cluster dashboard

NSS Discovery can help users to review performance, benchmark against peers and identify areas where resources could be targeted to address local health and care needs.

How do I get access:

It is only accessible to approved users. Your LIST analyst (PDF) can support you with planning your data questions before accessing NSS Discovery.

Find out more on the discovery website and read their guide for requesting access to discovery (PDF)



The Prescribing Team currently has data on over one billion prescriptions primarily written by GPs but also by other authorised prescriber types, which is made available to customers through routine reporting and publications, online tools and bespoke analysis to support customers with specific information needs.

  • Prescribing Open Data Dashboard This dashboard allows exploration of the most recent Monthly Prescriptions In The Community data file at a national and NHS health board level. 
  • Summary Statistics This dashboard presents data on the volume, which is the count of all prescriptions dispensed in the community, and on cost, which is the reimbursement cost of those prescriptions. 
  • Polypharmacy Outcome Measures These polypharmacy related outcome measures are accessible in Discovery and are intended to allow measurement of adherence to guidelines on preferred combined use of medications or on combinations to be avoided. To gain access to discovery read ISD Scotland’s guide for requesting access to discovery (PDF)
  • National Therapeutics Indicator dashboard ISD have recently produced an interactive dashboard allowing users to look at National Therapeutics Indicators and a Practice and GP Cluster level. 

How do I get access?

All of these (apart from the Polypharmacy Outcome Measures) are openly available to everyone by clicking the links above. Your LIST analyst can help you interpret and use this data for planning improvements. To gain access to the Polypharmacy Outcome Measures on Discovery please follow the guide for requesting access to discovery (PDF)


Scottish patients at risk of readmission and admission (SPARRA)

SPARRA data can help health care professionals identify patients with complex care needs who may benefit from anticipatory health care, including a medicine review. SPARRA data can also be used to help plan services by highlighting groups of patients who would benefit from those services.

How do I get access?

Your LIST analyst (PDF) can support you with this.

To access SPARRA data, please register online via the User Access System (UAS) and choose the SPARRA data mart One page UAS guides are available

Access requests are sent to your Caldicott guardian or GP practice authoriser for approval.

Once you are granted approval to access and view SPARRA data, you can run one of ISD’s pre-built reports in Business Objects. A guide on how to run these reports is available here: SPARRA-User-Guide-V4.2 (PDF) 


High health gain individuals

This is a predictive tool that has been developed to help identify complex and vulnerable patients with the potential for improvement through intervention in primary care or health and social care partnerships. The tool is called the High Health Gain tool (HHG). This tool can help GPs and allied health professionals identify people who may benefit from an Anticipatory Care Plan (ACP) and/or additional support e.g. social care in their own home, medicine review.

How do I access HHG data?

HHG data are available at by practice at an individual patient level. They are available to GPs via ISD’s PCI (primary care information) dashboard.

To apply for access to view the confidential patient level HHG data, please follow instructions at:

If you have any problems, contact our product support team at or 0131 275 7050.

Your LIST analyst (PDF) can help you access the PCI dashboard.


Care home census

Care Home Census – It is an annual publication by ISD Scotland which contains data on all adult care homes in Scotland that are registered with the Care Inspectorate (the regulatory body of care homes).

The data are presented at local council and Scotland level (not at care home level).

How do I get access?

View the Care Home Census Data Visualisation (PDF)


The scottish public health observatory (Scot PHO)

ScotPHO aims to help people access and use the information they need to understand and improve Scotland's health and reduce health inequalities. It has key data sources on health and its determinants and provides overviews and commentary.

This includes an Online Profiles Tool which provides access to public health related indicators grouped in a suite of specialist profiles at different geographies including NHS boards, local authorities and Health & Social Care Partnerships.

How do I get access?

More information on the ScotPHO website.


Service access - mental health

Access data sets through the following links:


Data guides


Data and quality improvement projects

Read the full LIST local stories (PDF) to find out about you can use data to improve patient experience in your practice.