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Knowledge Hub

Atlas of Variation for Scottish health service takes step forward

Does variation in surgery in Scotland amount to a postcode lottery?


Plans to create a substantial atlas of variation for health services in Scotland have taken a step forward with the publication of experimental statistics on common surgical procedures.


The figures from Information Systems Division (ISD) Scotland show that people living in some local authority areas are much more likely to receive hip or knee replacements or cataract operations than in others.


For example, last year people in Inverclyde were around twice as likely to have a cataract removed than in Aberdeenshire, while the Western Isles saw more hip operations per 100,000 people than anywhere else in Scotland.


The Scottish atlas aims to uncover variations in health service provision and associated health outcomes, and is part of the realistic medicine agenda promoted by Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood.


Further information

ISD Scotland: Scottish atlas of variation