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Cancer Waiting Times Data Collection (CWT)

The national Cancer Waiting Times (CWT) system allows NHS providers to record data derived from patient care activity. This data can be used to monitor cancer waiting times targets or plan service improvements. As a patient moves through the stages of their treatment pathway data on referrals, treatments and diagnosis are derived from care records locally (decisions on how to collect these data from local systems are made locally).

After collection, the cancer waiting times data can be queried by NHS organisations, cancer networks and the Department of Health to provide reports and feedback on the progress towards meeting these targets.

The national cancer waiting times monitoring dataset guidance v11.0 provides information on inter-provider transfers (new logic) and faster diagnosis standard requirements of cancer waiting times, and seeks to ensure staff from both informatics and clinical teams understand the data they need to be reporting on.  

Frequency: Monthly

Launch and submission dates

The Cancer Waiting Times Database will be shut down at 5pm on the Upload Deadline dates below. This is to allow the reports to be generated overnight. The system will become available at 9am the following morning, at which point the newly generated reports will be available.

Uploads must be submitted to the upload queue before 5pm on the Upload Deadline dates below in order for the data to be included in the generated reports. The upload process will be allowed to fully process all entries in the queue before the reports are generated.

We recommend that you aim to complete uploads a few days prior to the deadlines, to allow time to check your data and make any necessary corrections.

Records can be manually created or modified using the Record screen up until the time when the system is closed down at 5pm on the Upload Deadline dates below.

Monthly data submissions

There is limit of 8,500 records per bulk upload on the Cancer Waiting Times system. 

Whilst the six-month revisions are still open to bulk submission changes, you can break up any submissions over 8,500 records by using time periods (one submission per month for example) when creating bulk files through your data collection and reporting systems (Infoflex/Somerset or other local system).

Report generation

Reports are generated on the first working day following the on screen edits deadline.   

Quarterly reports are automatically generated by the system from the monthly reports.  That is, the quarterly reports do not include changes to months 1 and 2 of the quarter as was the case on the Open Exeter system.   

Both monthly and quarterly reports are updated via revisions whereby twice per year revisions to April to September, and October to March data are processed.

Final upload deadlines and report generation dates for the Cancer Waiting Times System

Months required to be submitted Bulk upload deadline On screen edits deadline Reports generated Report generation date

December 2020

2 February 2021

3 February 2021

December 2020, Q3 2020/21

4 February 2021

January 2021

2 March 2021

3 March 2021

January 2021

4 March 2021

February 2021 30 March 2021 31 March 2021 February 2021 1 April 2021
March 2021 5 May 2021 6 May 2021 March 2021, Q4 2020/21 7 May 2021
April 2021 2 June 2021 3 June 2021 April 2021 4 June 2021

Revisions October 2020 to March 2021

2 June 2021

3 June 2021

Revised final: October 2020 to March 2021, Q3 2020/21, Q4 2020/21

4 June 2021

May 2021

30 June 2021

1 July 2021

May 2021

2 July 2021

June 2021

30 July 2021

2 August 2021

June 2021, Q1 2021/22

3 August 2021

July 2021

1 September 2021


2 September 2021

July 2021

3 September 2021

August 2021 30 September 2021 1 October 2021 August 2021 4 October 2021
September 2021 1 November 2021 2 November 2021 September 2021, Q2 2021/22 3 November 2021
October 2021 30 November 2021 1 December 2021 October 2021 2 December 2021
Revisions April 2021 to September 2021 30 November 2021 1 December 2021 Revised Final: April 2021 to September 2021, Q1 2021/22, Q2 2021/22 2 December 2021
November 2021 4 January 2022 5 January 2022 November 2021 6 January 2022
December 2021 2 February 2022 3 February 2022 December 2021, Q3 2021/22 4 February 2022
January 2022 2 March 2022 3 March 2022 January 2022 4 March 2022


As of the December 2020 submission (deadline of 2nd to 3rd February 2021), all submissions are required to be in the Dataset 2.1 format.

More information is available on the DCB0147: National Cancer Waiting Times Monitoring Data Set page.

Contact details

To raise an issue with the Cancer Waiting Times System contact the National Service Desk at NHS Digital:

National Service Desk
Phone: 0300 303 5035

To raise an issue regarding policy, procedure or national statistics contact the Cancer Waiting Times team at NHS England email

Further Information

Cancer Waiting Times (CWT): GPDR information

Why and how we process your data in the Cancer Waiting Times (CWT) system, and your rights.

NHSE/I CWT Statistics Page

NHSE/I Cancer Page

Last edited: 18 August 2021 10:34 am