Cancer Waits & Activity

This module contains visualisations which are based on a range of data which is constructed to provide clear and actionable insights into the activity of all aspects of Cancer Waits & Activity.
NHS England Statistics

Cancer Initial Screen

The following visuals are available here which are all filtered by ICS, Trust, Cancer Site Group and
Cancer Site–


• Two Week Wait by selected ICS, Trust, Cancer Site Group and Cancer Site
• 2WW % Pareto by selected ICS, Trust, Cancer Site Group and Cancer Site
• First Outpatient and First Treatment Activity by Cancer Type
• 28 Day Referral to Diagnosis
• 28 Day Diagnosis % Pareto for by selected ICS, Trust, Cancer Site Group and Cancer Site
• Monthly Conversion for selected Cancer Site(s)
• 31 Day First Treatment selected Cancer(s)
• 31 Day First Treatment % Pareto for selected Cancers
• 62 Day Referral to Treatment selected Cancer(s)
• 62 Day % Pareto for selected parameters
• Trend in Two Week Wait % for ICS, Trust, Cancer Site Group and Cancer Site
• Trend in 31 Day First Treatment % for selected Cancer(s)
• Trend in 62 Day Referral to Treatment % for selected Cancer(s)

Glossary Cancer Waits & Activity
Term Meaning

28 Day Diagnosis 

NHS England has introduced a new target called the Faster Diagnosis Standard (FDS). The target is that a patient should not wait more than 28 days from referral to finding out whether they have cancer or not.

31 Days Maximum 

31 days from decision to treat a diagnosed patient to the first treatment The National Standard for this is 96%.

62 Days

Maximum two months from urgent referral for suspected cancer to first treatment-operational standard of 85%
Urgent referral from an NHS Cancer Screening Programme for suspected cancer to first treatment – operational standard 90%

Cancer Site 

Cancers often spread from their primary site (the part of the body where the cancer started) to one or more metastatic sites (other parts of the body). Cancers are named based on their primary site, regardless of where in the body they spread such as breast, lung, colon etc.

First Outpatient 

This is the first appointment as an outpatient following referral,

First Treatment

The first treatment given for a disease. It is often part of a standard set of treatments, such as surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation.

Monthly Conversion

Conversion rate is the proportion of urgent suspected cancer referrals which result in a treatment for a diagnosis of cancer.


This is a chart type that are often used to identify areas to focus on first in process improvement. Pareto charts show the ordered frequency counts of values for the different levels of a categorical or nominal variable.

Two Week Wait

2 Week Wait is part of a set of NHS Standards.
This standard sets a time limit of two weeks to be seen by a specialist when referred urgently for further investigation. It measures the time from:
Urgent referral for suspected cancer to first outpatient attendance
Referral of any patient with breast symptoms (where cancer is not suspected) to first hospital assessment.
The National standard is that 96% of patients should have their first outpatient appointment within 2 weeks of referral.