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Data Provider: Welsh Government Referrals by treatment function and month

Data was excluded for referrals to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board from November 2016 to December 2017 due to initial problems with the new Welsh Patient Administration System (WPAS). This has been resolved as of the March 2018 update and data has been backdated to cover the period affected.

Provider Area Code[Filter]
[Collapse]LHB Provider[Filtered]
LHB Provider 1[Filter]
Residence Area Code[Filter]
[Collapse]LHB Residence[Filtered]
LHB Residence 1[Filter]
[Collapse]Source of referral[Filtered]
Source of referral 1[Filter]
[Collapse]Treatment Function[Filter]
Treatment Function 1
Click here to sortJan-2018Click here to sortFeb-2018Click here to sortMar-2018Click here to sortApr-2018Click here to sortMay-2018Click here to sortJun-2018Click here to sortJul-2018Click here to sortAug-2018Click here to sortSep-2018Click here to sortOct-2018Click here to sortNov-2018Click here to sortDec-2018Click here to sortJan-2019
[Collapse]All Treatment Functions108,406104,417107,203110,917119,937114,409116,760109,909104,253124,422114,73293,783115,526
All Treatment FunctionsGeneral Surgery10,83410,30010,93011,13211,74411,28211,11810,95910,19912,24311,4769,07511,958
Breast Surgery.............
Colorectal surgery.............
Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery.............
Vascular Surgery.............
Trauma & Orthopaedics15,24114,58215,35916,08918,57217,39217,87815,95015,86018,01216,13513,24716,153
Ear, Nose and Throat8,3648,1338,0328,3578,6078,2627,9817,7917,4078,7978,3356,5118,691
Oral Surgery4,0344,0744,1584,0194,3053,9774,0114,1693,7654,6314,4473,6533,967
Restorative Dentistry556606584518622548532614478730603527492
Paediatric Dentistry235233191227268228195198224254247199147
Plastic Surgery760763754779904883928835721922850727741
Cardiothoracic Surgery279245289249325292292226305304332266312
Paediatric Surgery18214285191156126190154140179190137164
Accident & Emergency841121271051309811910711613275127165
Pain Management1,1231,1991,1121,0211,0191,0391,0779819991,1761,1379491,088
Paediatric Urology.............
Paediatric Maxillo-Facial Surgery.............
Paediatric Medical Oncology.............
General Medicine3,4062,1522,2522,3412,4292,5812,3922,3272,1812,5402,2981,9432,342
Clinical Haematology1,4041,3801,4081,5311,6861,7491,8851,6201,4591,6921,5951,2891,491
Clinical Pharmacology1591518211717151710261013
Diabetic Medicine.............
Audiological Medicine7977698710197938066105726784
Clinical Genetics24826131814112241516.12
Clinical Immunology And Allergy20277176159122148145112106163202152159
Palliative Medicine50658062554334343954423451
Paediatric Cardiology.............
Anticogulant Service.............
Sport and Exercise Medicine.............
Cardiac Rehabilitation.............
Stroke Medicine.............
Transient Ischaemic Attack.............
Respiratory Medicine2,5612,7472,7912,7783,0162,7722,7682,4712,3832,8932,6092,3853,023
Infectious Diseases20142314251624171224121314
Genito Urinary Medicine.............
Medical Oncology12211189127148158106128115133133114133
Nuclear Medicine.............
Clinical Neurophysiology284264255263313282181243258222276247325
Paediatric Neurology80655058454675635469695364
Geriatric Medicine1,0921,3441,2021,2241,3591,2911,3441,4011,3031,4581,3571,0091,362
Dental Medicine Specialties133125178127141143157123133167168128169
Medical Opthalmology.............
Obstetrics - Antenatal (outpatients).............
Obstetrics - Postnatal (outpatients).............
GP Other.............
Learning Disability8978909187869110086124985795
Adult Mental Illness3,0622,6592,8963,0773,3773,2513,4193,0902,8853,3823,1182,7083,051
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry1,4731,5041,6141,5751,9311,7592,0181,1811,4732,1001,8871,6161,613
Forensic Psychiatry178426211852383546372618
Old Age Psychiatry1,2671,1611,1151,3491,3691,2351,4191,3641,2451,4461,3099991,303
Clinical Oncology763642663631702606645698605793723579802
Interventional Radiology.............
Diagnostic Imaging.............
General Pathology.............
Chemical Pathology154126149116123127135129133116130124149
Haematology (non-clinical).............
Medical Microbiology.............
Community Medicine.............
Joint Consultant Clinic.............
Allied Health Professional Services.............


Referrals (April 2012 onwards)

Last update
21 March 2019 21 March 2019

Next update
18 April 2019

Publishing organisation
Welsh Government

Source 1
Outpatient Referral Dataset, NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS)

Contact email


Lowest level of geographical disaggregation
Local health boards

Geographical coverage

Languages covered
English and Welsh

Data licensing
You may use and re-use this data free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government License - see

General description
Resubmissions of the Referrals data in the Outpatient Referrals Dataset (OPR DS) occur each month. As a result, data in the release and Stats Wales is revised to reflect this. Please see the latest release for the impact of the revisions.
GP referrals cover both referrals from General Medical Practitioners and General Dental Practitioners.
Change of data source for GP referrals data for April 2012 data onwards:
For April 2012 data onwards, the data source for GP referrals for first outpatient appointments in this release has changed from the aggregate GP referrals data collection to the OPR DS.
The monthly aggregate GP Referrals data collection was historically used to assess trends at LHB and specialty level of GP referrals to first outpatient appointments. This data source was published by the Welsh Government as the definitive source of GP referrals data from June 2006 until July 2012.The Outpatient Referrals Dataset (OPR DS) was approved in May 2007 by the Welsh Information Standards Board (WISB), full implementation was completed by December 2007 and formal collection and reporting began mid 2008. This is a patient-level data set that allows more detailed analysis.
Following detailed data quality assessments and reviews of the data, the Welsh Government moved to using the OPR DS as the source of the official statistics for April 2012 data onwards and has ceased the monthly aggregate GP Referrals data collection. The reasons for this were to:
- Have just one definitive source of data for GP referrals;
- Remove the burden on data providers of supplying data for two similar data sets;
- Remove the confusion for analysts and users which exists by having two similar data sets for GP referrals information, containing different data in some cases; and
- Allow more granularity for research and data mining (the OPR DS provides patient level data, whereas the aggregate GP referrals data collection provides high level, summary data).
For April 2012 data onwards, “treatment function code” has been used to determine into which specialty the referral is made, changing from "main specialty (of consultant)". Treatment function code is the specialty under which a patient is currently being treated or is waiting to be treated, irrespective of the specialty of the consultant, whereas main specialty (of consultant) is the specialty of the consultant under which the patient will be/is currently being treated. The reasons for using treatment function code are as follows:
It provides an improved measure of demand on the service. Referral figures have been reported historically using ‘Main Specialty (of Consultant)’ to identify the consultant care for which the patient is awaiting treatment. Using treatment function code enables reporting of referrals by the speciality to which the patients have been referred rather than by the speciality to which the consultant is registered.

Due to the changing management of referrals in secondary care (for example, the use of pooled specialty waiting lists and referrals now often being referred directly to a specialty or service rather than a named individual) using main specialty is no longer appropriate, as the data should be more standardised. Using treatment function code will bring this data set in line with national standards, and it should introduce more coherence between data sets (i.e. specialty figures for referral to treatment times are also reported using treatment function code).
From April 2016, there has been a change in the treatment function codes submitted by the local health boards; this includes the cessation of the nursing treatment function. Whilst the other changes are likely to result in movements between different codes, the nursing treatment function affects Cwm Taf University LHB in particular as it was the only health board to submit a large number of referrals for that code (around 2,000 in March 2016, the last month when data was submitted).
Information on non-GP referrals are included in this table. For information on the non-GP referrals please see this statistical article:

Data collection and calculation
Please find this information in the related statistical release, as per the given weblink.

More detailed treatment functions have been introduced recently but have not been used consistently across all Local Health Boards; for example, patients receiving vascular surgery may have been recorded in either “General Surgery” or “Vascular Surgery” treatment functions.
To reduce uncertainty and make counts more reliable, the new functions will be removed temporarily and treatment functions will be recorded under the more general headings; for example, all patients receiving vascular surgery will now be published under “General Surgery” until consistent recording of treatment functions is confirmed across all Local Health Boards. This has now been fully actioned back to April 2016 when the new codes were introduced and will remain] under general headings until the more detailed treatment functions are used consistently across Wales.

Frequency of publication

Data reference periods
April 2012 onwards

Users, uses and context
Please find this information in the related statistical release, as per the given weblink.

Revisions information
From December 2015 our revisions policy is that each month we revise data for the previous 12 months (i.e. each month we publish 13 months of data). At the end of every financial year, when the largest historical revisions are received, we revise figures back to April 2012 (i.e. when we publish March figures each year we revise figures back to April 2012). Prior to December 2015, we revised data back to April 2012 every month.

In the March 2019 release, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board resubmitted data back to April 2014 to include data for the Source of Referral: Other source of referral (not initiated). This data was previously not included when it should have been.

Statistical quality
Please find this information in the related statistical release, as per the given weblink.

The most recent statistical release can be found on the following weblink:
On the 24th February 2015 we published a statistical article, which detailed the impact on the data of including other sources of referrals, and identified patterns and trends of non-GP sources of referral.

gp referrals; nhs; NHS referrals