Department of Health

Cancer Waiting Times: July to September 2011

Press Release   •   Nov 25, 2011 10:02 GMT

The latest quarterly national statistics on NHS cancer waiting times produced by the Department of Health were released on 25 November 2011 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.


Following an independent assessment undertaken in 2010, the United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics (Download letter of confirmation), in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:
• meet identified user needs;
• are well explained and readily accessible;
• are produced according to sound methods, and
• are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.
Waiting times for cancer services – 2011-12 QUARTER 2
The key results for outpatient services and first definitive treatments show that, in England during the period July to September 2011:

• Two week wait:
o 95.7% of people were seen by a specialist within two weeks of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer - (95.4% in Q1 2011-12)
o 96.0% of people urgently referred for breast symptoms (where cancer was not initially suspected) were seen within two weeks of referral (94.5% in Q1 2011-12)

• One Month (31-day) wait:
o 98.4% of people began first definitive treatment within 31 days of diagnosis for all cancers – (98.3% in Q1 2011-12) 
o 99.3% of people began first definitive treatment within 31 days of diagnosis for breast cancer - (99.0% in Q1 2011-12)

• Two Month (62-day) wait:
o 87.3% of people began first definitive treatment within 62 days of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer, for all cancers – (86.3% in Q1 2011-12) 
o 97.5% of people began first definitive treatment within 62 days of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer, for breast cancers – (97.4% in Q1 2011-12)

• 31-day wait for second or subsequent treatment:
o 97.7% of people began treatment within 31 days where the subsequent treatment was surgery – (97.5% in Q1 2011-12)
o 99.8% of people began treatment within 31 days where subsequent treatment was an anti-cancer drug regimen – (99.7% in Q1 2011-12)
o 98.2% of people began treatment within 31 days where subsequent treatment was a course of radiotherapy - (98.2% in Q1 2011-12)

• 62-day wait extension:
o 93.4% of people began first definitive treatment within 62 days of a consultant’s decision to upgrade a patient’s priority, for all cancers – (93.4% in Q1 2011-12)
o 93.2% of people began first definitive treatment for cancer within 62 days of referral from an NHS screening service, for all cancers – (92.8% in Q1 2011-12).

More detailed commentary and analysis is available on the Department of Health website:

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsStatistics/DH_131238

Contact address and email 
You can obtain further details about the statistics published in this section or comment on the section by contacting the following address:

Cancer Waiting Times Team
Department of Health
Wellington House (Area 411)
133-155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8UG

Email: cancer-waits@dh.gsi.gov.uk