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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

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
October 2022 28 November 2022 29 November 2022 October 2022 30 November 2022
Revisions Apr 2022 to Sept 2022 28 November 2022 29 November 2022 Revised Final: April 2022 to September 2022, Q1 2022-23, Q2 2022-23 30 November 2022
November 2022 4 January 2023 5 January 2023 November 2022 6 January 2023
December 2022 31 January 2023 1 February 2023 December 2022, Q3 2022-23 2 February 2023
January 2023 1 March 2023 2 March 2023 January 2023 3 March 2023
February 2023 30 March 2023 31 March 2023 February 2023 3 April 2023
March 2023 2 May 2023 3 May 2023 March 2023, Q4 2022 - 2023 4 May 2023
April 2023 30 May 2023 31 May 2023 April 2023 1 June 2023
Revisions October 2022 to March 2023 30 May 2023 31 May 2023 Revised Final: October 2022 to March 2023, Q3 2022-23, Q4 2022-23 1 June 2023
May 2023 30 June 2023 3 July 2023 May 2023 4 July 2023
June 2023 1 August 2023 2 August 2023 June 2023, Q1 2023 - 2024 3 August 2023
July 2023 31 August 2023 1 September 2023 July 2023 4 September 2023
August 2023 2 October 2023 3 October 2023 August 2023 4 October 2023
September 2023 31 October 2023 1 November 2023 September 2023, Q2, 2023 -2024 2 November 2023
October 2023 30 November 2023 1 December 2023 October 2023 4 December 2023
Revisions Apr 2023 to Sept 2023 30 November 2023 1 December 2023 Revised Final: April 2023 to September 2023, Q1 2023-24, Q2 2023-24 4 December 2023
November 2023 3 January 2024 4 January 2024 November 2023 5 January 2024
December 2023 30 January 2024 31 January 2024 December 2023, Q3 2023 - 24 1 February 2024
January 2024 1 March 2024 4 March 2024 January 2024 5 March 2024 

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.

Checking the status of the Cancer Waiting Times System

There is a web page and mobile app that can be used to check that the Cancer Waiting Times system is working as expected, or whether there are any current known issues. It is highly recommended that you check this system reporting if you experience an issue in accessing or using the CWT system, as this will provide up to date information on the system’s status:

Check the status (requires an N3 connection)

Apple App

Android app

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

Data Provision Notice

UK Cancer Data and Information

International Cancer Organisations

UK Cancer Tools and Intelligence

Some of these sites will require a login which you will need to request. 


Last edited: 4 January 2023 6:05 pm