Cancer Services

Cancer services

Cancer Services provides a comprehensive service to our patients who are referred with suspected cancer as well as already diagnosed cases.

Patients referred with suspected cancer are tracked and monitored through their diagnosis, treatment and follow ups. Some specialist services are provided by tertiary centre but these patients are still tracked and all our staff work to ensure that cancer targets are met.

The cancer services that we provide care for are:

  • Breast cancer
  • Children’s cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Gynaecology
  • Haematology
  • Head and Neck cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Upper GI cancer
  • Urology

Wait times

The ‘rules’ that govern cancer waits are complex so can be difficult to understand. There are specific targets that have to be met and strict rules that have to be applied for compliance.

Current CWT standards:

Maximum two weeks from:
Receipt of urgent referral for suspected cancer to first outpatient attendance.  Operational Standard: 93%
Receipt of referral of any patient with breast symptoms (where cancer not suspected) to first hospital assessment. Operational Standard: 93%

Maximum 28 days from:
Receipt of two week wait referral for suspected cancer, receipt of urgent referral from a cancer screening programme (breast, bowel, cervical), and receipt of two week wait referral of any patient with breast symptoms (where cancer not suspected), to the date the patient is informed of a diagnosis or ruling out of cancer. Operational Standard:  75%

Maximum one month (31 days) from:
Decision to treat to first definitive treatment. Operational Standard: 96%
Decision to treat/earliest clinically appropriate date to start of second or subsequent treatment(s) for all cancer patients including those diagnosed with a recurrence where the subsequent treatment is:
Surgery 94%
Drug treatment 98%
Radiotherapy 94%

Maximum two months (62 days) from:
Urgent referral for suspected cancer to first treatment (62-day classic): 85%
Urgent referral from a NHS Cancer Screening Programme (breast, cervical or bowel) for suspected cancer to first treatment: 90%

No separate operational standards set:
Consultant upgrade of urgency of a referral to first treatment
Maximum one month (31 days) from urgent referral to first treatment for rare cancers: acute leukaemia, testicular cancer and children’s cancers.


The Access Policy provides some local variance to the national rules that we are permitted to apply. Click here to see the latest National Cancer Waiting Times.

For any questions or advice please contact Laura Gagg, Interim Cancer Improvement Manager, on email