Cancer Waiting Times


The National Cancer Waiting Times system allows NHS providers to record data derived from patient care activity.

The National Cancer Waiting Times system allows NHS providers to record data derived from patient care activity. This data can be used to:

  • monitor cancer waiting times targets
  • 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.

Note: from April 2018, the Cancer Waiting Times system and dataset will be changing. An Information Standards Notice with further details of these changes is available.

New system guidance is available to help get started with the new CWT system. A new implementation guidance document and user manual will be published soon.

The Addendum to the National Cancer Waiting Times Monitoring Data Guidance v.9.0 provides guidance about the Inter Provider Transfers and Faster Diagnosis Standard requirements of cancer waiting times and seeks to ensure that staff from both informatics and clinical teams understand the data they need to be reporting on.

Reporting and publication of inter-provider transfers

Patient activity

Monthly report published

Quarterly report published

July Old Logic September

(Q2 patient activity)

August October
September November
October New Logic December

(Q3 patient activity)

November January
December February
January March

(Q4 patient activity)

February  April
March May


Document library

UK cancer data and information

International cancer organisations

UK cancer tools and intelligence

Contact details

National Service Desk
Phone: 0300 303 5035


Further information

  1. internal

    Cancer Network Codes

    The National Cancer Waiting Times system now uses the same set of Cancer Network codes as used by the Cancer Action Team and the Department of Health.

  2. internal

    Report generation dates

    Find Upload Deadlines and report generation dates for the Cancer Waiting Times Database