|Changes to Cancer Waiting Times standards and Official Statistics
Following a consultation on the cancer waiting times standards, NHS England have had approval from government to implement changes to the standards from 1 October 2023.
The response to the consultation is published here NHS England » Cancer waiting times review – Models of care and measurement: consultation response
The statistics on cancer waiting times will be updated to ensure that they follow the changed operating framework for cancer, and address responses to the consultation on disaggregation of the standards. These changes will begin from the publication of October 2023 data planned to be published in December 2023. The updates are as follows:
NHS England will initially adopt an official statistics badge for all the updated statistical outputs, pending assessment by the Office for Statistics Regulation.
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This section provides information on the waiting times of people referred by 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. For patients with cancer, on the numbers who started treatment within 31 from Decision To Treat to First Definitive Treatment of cancer and 62 days from receipt of urgent GP referral for suspected cancer to First Definite Treatment of cancer 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.
For data to March 2018 / Quarter 4 2017/18, monthly cancer waiting times data was classed as provisional and quarterly data classed as final, therefore the sum of the standalone months in a quarter do not necessarily match the standalone quarterly data.
From April 2018 / Quarter one 2018/19 onwards, monthly and quarterly data are synchronized. Both monthly and quarterly data are first released as provisional data, and subsequently finalised in line with the NHS England and NHS Improvement revisions policy. Each year, there are two revisions to cover from April to September data (published in January), and from October to March data (published in July).
Integrated Care Boards (ICB)
From July 2022 cancer waiting times commissioner data is published by Integrated Care Boards in the main publication outputs. Information by Sub ICB Location is available as a long thin data table in the Data extracts (Monthly commissioner based only) section below.
The difference between the commissioner and provider data
The national levels of activity and performance of commissioner-based statistics on waiting times for suspected and diagnosed cancer patients may differ from the equivalent provider-based national statistics on cancer waiting times.
This is because the commissioner-based statistics only include those patients who can be traced back to an English commissioner using their NHS Number. As a result, the national calculated performance levels may differ slightly between the two datasets.
As the commissioner (Clinical Commissioning Groups and from July 2022 Integrated Care Boards) based statistics are derived from those data submitted by the providers of NHS cancer services, the provider-based National Statistics on waiting times for suspected and diagnosed cancer patients (published at the same time as these statistics) remain the most complete assessment of the performance of the English NHS.
To March 2019 the allocation was equally divided between first seen and treatment providers.
From April 2019 the allocation of patients on 62 day pathways which involve multiple providers was changed and the rules set out in the national cancer waiting times monitoring dataset guidance, the latest version of which can be found here: Cancer Waiting Times Data Collection (CWT) – NHS Digital
The example document Technical Annex – Patient Allocation (XLSX,48KB) accompanying the publication of April 2019 data shows the impact of this change at the provider level in April 2019. The national figures are unaffected by this change.
Clinical Review of Standards Field Test
Please see note below on the publication of data from August 2019 onwards. Reporting for all providers and commissioners resumed from July 2022 data.
28-Day Faster Diagnosis Standard (FDS)
The 28-Day Faster Diagnosis Standard are published from April 2021 data in June 2021.
Monthly cancer waiting times statistics
From the 13th August 2015, monthly cancer waiting times statistics are published here. All monthly cancer waiting times previous to June 2015 are available in the time series section below.
Quarterly cancer waiting times statistics
Time series with revision
Cancer Waiting Times – National Time Series Oct 2009 – Jul 2023 with Revisions (XLSX, 136KB)
Cancer Waiting Times – Provider Time Series Oct 2009 – Jul 2023 with Revisions (XLSX, 7.8MB)
Cancer Waiting Times – Commissioner Time Series Apr 2011 – Jun 2022 with Revisions (XLSX, 8MB)
Cancer Waiting Times – Commissioner Time Series Jul 2022 – Jul 2023 with Revisions (XLSX, 625KB)
Provisional time series
Cancer Waiting Times – National Time Series Oct 2009 – Jul 2023 Provisional (XLSX, 125KB)
Cancer Waiting Times – Provider Time Series Oct 2009 – Jul 2023 Provisional (XLSX, 6.4MB)
Cancer Waiting Times – Commissioner Time Series Apr 2011 – Jun 2022 Provisional (XLSX, 8MB)
Cancer Waiting Times – Commissioner Time Series Jul 2022 – Jul 2023 Provisional (XLSX, 3.5MB)
An archive of the standalone quarterly provider and commissioner time series files are available via the following pages under the Archived Quarterly Data section. Note, following the synchronization of monthly and quarterly data from April 2018, this information is contained in the monthly provider and commissioner time series.
Data extracts (Monthly provider based only)
The following files are data extracts by month from October 2009 to the most recent available data. These files provide levels of activity by standard, provider and cancer type.
From April 2018 onwards, these flat files initially contained the provisional data, and subsequently finalised in line with the NHS England and NHS Improvement revisions policy.
To March 2019 the allocation of patients on 62 day pathways was equally divided between first seen and treatment providers. From April 2019 the allocation of patients on 62 day pathways which involve multiple providers, the latest data extracts will reflect this change.
From April 2021 the 28-day Faster Diagnosis Standard (for all routes urgent suspected cancer, urgent breast symptomatic, and urgent screening referrals in aggregate) has been included. This standard is operational from Q3 2021/22. The standard can be identified by selecting ’28 Days FDS’ in column D. Additionally, the header name for column F has been updated to ‘CARE SETTING/REFERRAL ROUTE’ to accommodate the ’28 Days FDS (By Route)’ data.
Cancer Waiting Times Apr 2023 – Jul 2023 Data Extract (Provider) (XLSX, 1323KB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2022-23 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSX, 3.3MB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2021-22 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSX, 3.3MB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2020-21 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSX, 2.4MB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2019-20 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSX, 5.0MB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2018-19 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSX, 5.6MB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2017-18 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSB, 1.9MB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2016-17 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSB, 2.0MB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2015-16 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSB, 2.0MB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2014-15 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSB, 2.1MB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2013-14 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSB, 2.0MB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2012-13 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSB, 1.8MB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2011-12 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSB, 1.8MB)
Cancer Waiting Times 2010-11 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSB, 1.7MB)
Cancer Waiting Times Oct 2009 – Mar 2010 Data Extract (Provider) Final (XLSB, 776KB)
Data extracts (Monthly commissioner based only)
The following files are data extracts by month from July 2022 to the most recent available. These files provide levels of activity by standard and ICB Sub Location.
Cancer Waiting Times April 2023 – July 2023 Data Extract (ICB Sub Location) – file updated to correct an error (Thursday 14th September 2023)
Cancer Waiting Times July 2022 – March 2023 Data Extract (ICB Sub Location) Final (XLSX, 331KB)
Annual cancer waiting times reports
Annual cancer waiting times reports, giving an overview of activity levels and performance, are available to download from Annual cancer waiting times reports
Weekly management information on the cancer 62 day backlog for NHS acute providers is available here: MI on cancer
Further information about guidance and data submission dates
Please visit Cancer Waiting Times section on the NHS Digital website.
For further information about the published statistics, please contact us at:
Cancer Waiting Times Team
Leeds LS2 7UE
Alternatively, if you are a patient wishing to discuss your own waiting time experience, you should contact your local commissioner, which you can find on the NHS website.