Inpatient bed census

Mental health and learning disabilities inpatient census 2014 & 2016: Patients with learning disabilities aged 18 and older



The first Mental Health and Learning Disability Inpatient Bed Census was conducted by the Scottish Government and NHS Boards at midnight, 29 October 2014.  An initial report on inpatients who were treated in psychiatric, learning disabilities or addiction beds in NHS Scotland facilities was released on 30 June 2015 (Scottish Government, 2015). This report demonstrated the need for further analysis of the learning disabilities data, due to the notable differences between the inpatient experiences of this patient group and the rest of the inpatient population. For example, the initial report demonstrates that the median length of stay in hospital is much longer for people with learning disabilities or autism. On the census date patients with learning disabilities had been in hospital for an average (median) of 33 months compared to 5 months for other inpatients in the census.  A second Mental Health and Learning Disability Inpatient Bed Census was conducted on 31 March 2016. This second census was expanded to include a section on patients receiving Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care (HBCCC). 

Aims and Objectives

The aim of this project is to analyse and compare the data for patients with learning disabilities in the 2014 and 2016 Mental Health and Learning Disability Inpatient Bed Census to other inpatients. This will increase our understanding of the use of learning disabilities and mental health inpatient beds by people with learning disabilities, within and out-with NHS Scotland. 


We will conduct descriptive statistics and cross tabulations on all variables of interest, comparing people with learning disabilities to other mental health inpatient bed users. 

For further information on this project, please contact Kirsty Dunn