Posted on: 9 June 2022

Graeme Caul canva.pngGraeme Caul, CNWL’s Chief Operating Officer, reflected to our Board of Directors on Wednesday 8 June what the statistics about care and treatment at CNWL are saying. We are very busy and staff are working hard.

When we exclude Sexual Health (where referrals dropped significantly in lockdown), there was an overall increase in referrals of 33% in 21/22 compared to 19/20 and this trend continues into this year.

Mental Health

CAMHS community teams saw an increase in referrals by 25% from 7,497 in 19/20 to 9,391 in 2021/2022. This is an increase from a weekly rate of 144 young people referred in 2019/2020 to 181 per week in 21/22.

Demand in CAMHS Urgent teams increased by 52% from 2,286 in 19/20 to 3,477 in 21/22. This is an increase from a weekly rate of 44 in 2019/2020 to 67 in 2021/2022.

The Trust has overachieved on CAMHS access Targets and continues to meet Referral to Treatment Targets. 

Overall our Community Mental Health teams have seen an increase in referrals of 46% with some teams seeing an increase of up to 74%.

Psychiatric Liaison Services have seen an increase of 5% in referrals at A&E. However there has been a decrease of 19% in admissions into mental health beds. Our home treatment and admission avoidance services are supporting more than ever before at home having seen a 30% increase in demand, and activity increased by 40% helping us support our patients in the least restrictive way possible.

The Mental Health Investment Standard means we planned for and expected big increase in patients coming to our services but we also know a proportion of this new demand is following on from Covid.

Community Physical Healthcare Services

Overall increase in referrals of 19% compared to 2019/2020 mainly due to Adult Physiotherapy (126% increase) followed by community respiratory (43%) and District Nursing (26%)

Demand for intermediate care beds increased by 55% over 3 years – 1,095 referrals to 1,694.  We saw this increase in demand through working closer with our colleagues in acute hospitals to help them free capacity and our ability to manage it was made possible by our drive to reduce length of stay and get people back home as quickly as possible.

We have introduced a 2 hour target in Rapid Response for urgent referrals (avoiding a conveyance to hospital) and we are exceeding national standard.  Across our Trust we are seeing on average 533 urgent care patients a week.


Increase of 19% (8,391) from 2019/2020 (9,972) which could be of a result of an increase in acuity rather than an actual increase in demand.

Graeme said,

“Staff are really working hard and managing the extra demand with new ways of working, within the targets we’ve been set. They have been amazing and I am personally very proud of what our teams have achieved.  That said, I know it’s frustrating if you are a person waiting because there are others ahead of you.  We report on 12 separate measures across services about seeing people in a timely way.  As we report at the Board meetings, of those 12 we are currently meeting 10. Lots for us to do – we know!”