Cancer waiting times

This section of the website provides information on the waiting times of people referred by their GP with suspected cancer or breast symptoms and those subsequently diagnosed with and treated for cancer by the NHS in England.


These reports present the validated results of the monitoring of waiting times for cancer services in England. Information on the number of people who attended outpatient appointments within two weeks of an urgent referral by their GP for suspected cancer or breast symptoms and, for patients with cancer, on the numbers who started treatment within 31 and 62 days are included for each organisation. The numbers who started some types of subsequent treatments within 31 days are also given for each organisation. Numbers of patients who were not seen or treated within the specified times are also included.

Supporting documents

These documents set out he measures taken to protect patient confidentiality within these statistics, the methods used in their production and the expected quality of these data.

Download summary of data quality – September 2010 (PDF, 41K)
Download data security and confidentiality (PDF, 34K)
Download methodology for production of statistics (PDF, 35K)
Download revisions policy (PDF, 32K)

Quarterly cancer waiting times statistics

Provider based data and summaries

These statistics show the levels of activity (numbers of patients) and performance for cancer waiting times broken down by the provider where the patients are first seen (following an urgent referral for suspected cancer or breast symptoms) or where treatment takes place.
Latest provider based waiting times statistics

 Commissioner based data and summaries

These statistics show the levels of activity (numbers of patients) and performance for cancer waiting times broken down by the local NHS organisation that commissions the patient care.
Latest commissioner based waiting time statistics

Annual statistical volumes

Commissioner based data for periods prior to 01 April 2011 were only published annually.
Annual data for 2010/11 
Annual data for 2009/10

Annual cancer waiting times reports

Annual cancer waiting times reports, giving an overview of activity levels and performance, are available to download
Annual cancer waiting times reports

Quarterly Time Series

The following files are a summary of the national and official statistics. The files are presented as a summary of national level and by organization for provider and commissioner based data.

Cancer Waiting Times – National Time Series Q4 2008-09 to Q2 2014-15 (Provider based, 152kB)

Cancer Waiting Times – Provider Time Series Q4 2009-10 to Q2 2014-15 (Provider based, 1.0MB)

Cancer Waiting Times – National Time Series Q1 2011-12 to Q2 2014-15 (Commissioner based, 141kB)

Cancer Waiting Times – Commissioner Time Series Q1 2013-14 to Q2 2014-15 (Commissioner based, 361kB)

Historic quarterly data

Links to the previous cancer waiting times websites containing the data in HTML format (where applicable) and all previously published data in Excel format are:

Cancer waiting times statistics for periods before 31 December 2008
Cancer waiting times statistics for periods between 01 January 2009 and 31 December 2011

Users should note that statistics for periods prior to 31 December 2008 are not comparable to current data.  To reduce the burden of collecting these data on the NHS, and to ensure that, over time, there are further opportunities to minimise the impact of collecting cancer waiting times statistics locally, the Department made the cancer waits data collection system interoperable with that used for the general monitoring of referral to treatment waiting times. This change to the reporting methodology was introduced from 1 January 2009.

Under this simplified process, cancer treatment providers no longer have to collect information about suspensions arising from a patient’s unfitness for treatment or from their taking time to think about and discuss their various treatment options.

Cancer waiting times statistics

Contact Us

For further information about the published statistics, please contact us at:

Analytical Service (Operations)
NHS England
Room 8E10
Quarry House
Leeds LS2 7UE
Great Britain

Alternatively, if you are a patient wishing to discuss your own waiting time experience, you should contact your local commissioner, which you can find via the NHS Choices website.