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Data Provider: Welsh Government Management Information Summary of quarterly activity
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ReferralsReferrals include referral prior to assessment7,0266,6037,2726,8966,7976,5057,1706,8686,7456,3426,6006,9226,8526,3347,0746,6256,9496,2916,4804,7326,563
AssessmentsCan relate to any referral from April 20054,8934,6534,7024,6224,6364,3544,8004,5044,5544,2774,5234,6944,7324,4344,8594,6584,7424,2894,7283,4634,662
Treatments startedCan relate to any referral from April 20054,3904,2574,2874,1044,1863,9964,2353,9903,9843,7833,9574,1744,1163,9644,2524,0384,0913,8554,2422,9694,020
All cases closed during quarterCan relate to any referral from April 20056,7076,3176,4597,3726,9126,7766,8726,6916,6856,6016,6526,3936,6166,3516,5546,7836,5586,1226,2124,5685,940
Cases referred and still openNote that the latest quarter tends to have a higher number of open records in comparison with previous quarters as fewer updates to the records have been received, and agencies keep records open for up to 6 weeks before closing them if the client does not attend.7597046566295815826125455625405715806515567397687918771,2021,0512,165



Summary of quarterly activity

Last update

3 February 2021 3 February 2021

Next update

May 2021

Publishing organisation

Welsh Government

Source 1

Welsh National Database for Substance Misuse, NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS)

Source 2

NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS)

Contact email


Management information

Lowest level of geographical disaggregation


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

Substance Misuse in Wales, Quarterly Statistics

Data collection and calculation

These quarterly statistics present summary information relating to treatment services for substance misuse, including data on activity by drug and alcohol. The data only relates to people attending treatment services for substance misuse and as a result only represents a proportion of all substance misusers.

The source of the data is the Welsh National Database for Substance Misuse (WNDSM). It contains details of all referrals to drug and alcohol agencies in Wales and is held by NHS Wales Informatics Service. The database is dynamic, that is, records are subject to amendment as further information is submitted by agencies. This means that figures from the previous four quarters will inevitably be revised and this should be considered when interpreting the data. Consequently when data is published for the fifth time for a specific quarter it will be marked as “final”, until then it will be marked as "provisional". Data on this subject is also published in an annual report in October. Please note that the quarterly and annual statistics are not directly comparable, specifically because clients who did not attend (DNA) at a very early stage i.e. before assessment are not included throughout the annual report tables but are included here in the quarterly statistics.

Some of the data presented is used to measure Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to support the performance management of substance misuse treatment services in Wales. This includes a performance indicator to achieve a waiting time of within 20 working days between referral and the start of treatment. This indicator is also included in the Welsh Government's Programme for Government.

Assessments, treatment starts and closures may relate to any referral since April 2005 when the database was established.

Frequency of publication


Data reference periods

January 2013 onwards

Users, uses and context

For information on users, uses and context please see the linked annual publication and Quality Report.

Revisions information

In each quarterly publication, data for the previous four quarters is revised in order to include amendments to records.


Substance Misuse

Statistical quality

Quality report:

All Service Providers in receipt of Welsh Government funding, either directly or via the Community Safety Partnerships, to deliver substance misuse services are required to comply fully with the reporting requirements of the database.

The Welsh Government’s Substance Misuse Advisory Regional Teams (SMARTs) have been working with treatment services to improve data quality. For the purpose of this release, the data quality issues that affect these statistics are:

Some agencies are failing to close cases where a client is transferred between agencies. This means that some individuals will be counted more than once on the database.

It is possible that some referral and / or treatment dates have been incorrectly added to the client records resulting in longer than expected delays in treatment. Any records which appear erroneous are investigated but it is not always possible for the treatment agencies, particularly the smaller ones, to verify and update their records.

A number of agencies may not complete all of the relevant fields on the database by the time the quarterly data is extracted.