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Data Provider: Welsh Government Management Information Time between referral and start of treatment (quarterly)
Area code[Filter]
MeasureA number of agencies using the PARIS reporting system are in the process of transitioning to the new Welsh Community Care Information System (WCCIS). As a result of the move, these agencies have not been able to submit full data for the quarter April to June 2021. To maintain the time series, data for the previous quarter (Jan to March 2021) has been used for April to June 2021 for these affected agencies. The affected agencies account for around 17% of the total number of referrals in Wales.<br /><br />It is expected that the first submission from WCCIS will be received in November, and the submission will include a full back series of data, so the estimated data provided for April to June 2021 included in this table will be replaced by actual data for the quarter.[Filter]
Waiting timeThe waiting times are based on the time between referral and treatment start, so a patient would only appear on the waiting times once they have a treatment start date.  If a patient is currently waiting for treatment, they wouldn\’t appear on this report until they have a treatment date. [Filter]
[Collapse]Oct-Dec 2020Data as at 31 March 2022[Collapse]Jan-Mar 2021Revised and final. Data as at 21 July 2022[Collapse]Apr-Jun 2021Revised and provisional. Data as at 21 July 2022[Collapse]Jul-Sep 2021Revised and provisional. Data as at 21 July 2022[Collapse]Oct-Dec 2021Revised and provisional. Data as at 21 July 2022[Collapse]Jan-Mar 2022Provisional. Data as at 21 July 2022
Click here to sortNumberReferrals treated the quarter.Click here to sortPercentageClick here to sortNumberReferrals treated the quarter.Click here to sortPercentageClick here to sortNumberReferrals treated the quarter.Click here to sortPercentageClick here to sortNumberReferrals treated the quarter.Click here to sortPercentageClick here to sortNumberReferrals treated the quarter.Click here to sortPercentageClick here to sortNumberReferrals treated the quarter.Click here to sortPercentage
Within 20 working days3,78692.73,81791.93,33592.23,38690.83,07989.83,29689.4
4-12 weeks2165.32516.02527.02988.03008.73188.6
3-6 months401.0401.0240.7280.8391.1541.5
6-9 months160.4130.320.
9-12 months70.
12-18 months60.
18-24 months20.
More than 24 months100.2110.310.
Sub total4,083100.04,153100.03,619100.03,728100.03,429100.03,687100.0
InvalidReported treatment date before referral date.4.The data item is not applicable10.The data item is not applicable2.The data item is not applicable5.The data item is not applicable1.The data item is not applicable6.The data item is not applicable
Total4,087.The data item is not applicable4,163.The data item is not applicable3,621.The data item is not applicable3,733.The data item is not applicable3,430.The data item is not applicable3,693.The data item is not applicable



Time between referral and start of treatment

Last update

3 August 2022 3 August 2022

Next update

No longer being updated - see DHCW website ( website for more information

Publishing organisation

Welsh Government

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 until March 2022

Users, uses and context

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

Rounding applied

Percentages have been rounded to one decimal place.

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.