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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 sortAug-2017Click here to sortSep-2017Click here to sortOct-2017Click here to sortNov-2017Click here to sortDec-2017Click 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-2018
[Collapse]All Treatment Functions113,492104,920113,726109,02487,144106,694102,758105,406109,480118,157112,665114,846107,266
All Treatment FunctionsGeneral Surgery11,16310,32711,32710,9048,41710,77110,25110,86411,06811,66611,21611,02810,752
Breast Surgery.............
Colorectal surgery.............
Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery.............
Vascular Surgery.............
Trauma & Orthopaedics17,33016,37817,54715,86113,06414,90114,22515,01415,90718,26417,18317,58815,629
Ear, Nose and Throat8,6417,8788,4658,1086,3648,1877,9737,8458,2088,4498,0827,8197,603
Oral Surgery4,2273,9494,5664,3003,5364,0284,0704,1474,0024,2823,9613,9794,109
Restorative Dentistry618555620644597555607586518618544522607
Paediatric Dentistry259233253254196235233191227268227194198
Plastic Surgery752695721692546654639646702812786851760
Cardiothoracic Surgery291297308270261278241284249325292288214
Paediatric Surgery11718321511313718214285192154123190146
Accident & Emergency79839563728411212710513098119107
Pain Management1,2881,1801,2411,1648981,1231,2041,1081,0171,0211,0401,079970
Paediatric Urology.............
Paediatric Medical Oncology.............
General Medicine3,0993,1143,2783,2062,6943,3812,1262,2342,3262,4042,4602,3422,248
Clinical Haematology1,6221,4441,5081,4541,1911,3961,3701,4041,5031,6741,7471,8861,607
Clinical Pharmacology91419106159151721161612
Diabetic Medicine.............
Audiological Medicine8694105787179776987101979380
Clinical Genetics10925482852612
Clinical Immunology And Allergy1151091471427620277176159122147145113
Palliative Medicine68536470465065806255413534
Paediatric Cardiology.............
Anticogulant Service.............
Sport and Exercise Medicine.............
Cardiac Rehabilitation.............
Stroke Medicine.............
Transient Ischaemic Attack.............
Respiratory Medicine2,2961,9992,2862,1131,8772,4602,6822,7302,7122,9292,7032,7062,438
Infectious Diseases22191722132014231425162317
Genito Urinary Medicine.............
Medical Oncology951211341209412211189127148158106128
Nuclear Medicine.............
Clinical Neurophysiology198133141279183284265255263316290233275
Paediatric Neurology52636949617861495744467352
Geriatric Medicine1,1871,0071,0499827771,0171,2881,1511,1741,2851,2191,3021,334
Dental Medicine Specialties156105152173125133125178127139143157122
Medical Opthalmology.............
Obstetrics - Antenatal (outpatients).............
Obstetrics - Postnatal (outpatients).............
GP Other.............
Learning Disability12689100108628978909186868890
Adult Mental Illness3,7752,9603,1953,2232,6633,0562,6532,8883,1193,4423,2993,4583,021
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry1,1961,3261,6311,6171,2871,4391,4381,5141,4821,7711,6301,7771,091
Forensic Psychiatry221340261317832619163715
Old Age Psychiatry1,5041,2711,3471,2961,0091,2511,1491,1121,3331,3441,2161,3891,278
Clinical Oncology641627616650515649557564527588496530556
Interventional Radiology.............
Diagnostic Imaging.............
General Pathology.............
Chemical Pathology14316616013691154125149118124129137128
Haematology (non-clinical).............
Medical Microbiology.............
Community Medicine.............
Joint Consultant Clinic.............
Allied Health Professional Services.............


Referrals (April 2012 onwards)

Last update
18 October 2018 18 October 2018

Next update
22 November 2018

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 been actioned for August 2017 data onwards and will continue to be updated over the next few months

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.

Betsi Cadwaldr Health Board have been unable to submit data for part of the health board for November 2016 - November 2017 due to moving to the national Welsh Patient Administration System (WPAS). NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) are working with the health board to resolve the issue.

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