Numbers Wisdom


There is a temptation when numbers are involved, especially when you can see decimal places, to assume that the numbers are right and the world must be changed to fit them. As we have explained previously there are so many assumptions, as well as natural variability in the world, that they are just a guide to getting to the right place rather than being exact.

Again, the temptation with the multiplier of 3 is for one team to say ‘well our average is 8.2 appointments in Core Partnership not 7.5 and so the multiplier should be 2.6 or so rather than 3’. Or ‘our co-therapy rate is really high so again we need a smaller Partnership Multiplier’.

We’d suggest just start with the number 3, review how busy people feel and are, have a think about Letting Go of Families (Chapter 9 and the 7 HELPFUL Habits of Effective CAMHS (downloadable form the and take it from there.

The other error is saying that "CAPA says the multiplier must be three". It is ajust an aide to describe what you can do - for your service it may not be right!

FACT: In fact from an audit in East Herts CAMHS in 2005 we know that 80% of how busy we are comes from our average treatment durations. Only 20% is due to the amount we are actually asked to do (i.e. number of referrals received). In other words 80% of the variability in the waiting times across a range of services was accounted for by the variability in treatment durations and only 20% to the rate of referral per clinician.