Being Wise with the Numbers

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 7 HELPFUL Habits, section) and take it from there.

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 others words the capacity of teams across Hertfordshire, when audited, to offer new appointments varied 4 times more with the number of sessions the clinic offered on average (ie how busy they were and how much space they had to offered appointments) than then number of referrals they received.

So its what we choose do that has more of an effect than what we are asked to do!