Health care waiting time statistics

Technical differences between the four UK countries

Statisticians in all four home nations have been working together to produce technical guidance in the following areas:

  • Accident and Emergency (A&E)
  • cancer
  • diagnostics
  • referral to treatment
  • inpatients
  • outpatients
  • ambulance response

The guidance brings together a comparison of:

  • what is measured in each country
  • how the statistics are similar
  • how the statistics are different

The guidance is used by statisticians, analysts, journalists, policy makers and researchers to understand the similarities and differences in waiting times for each country.

The technical detail has been simplified to allow a broader range of users to use the information. But some technical and specialist information is needed to provide a comprehensive comparison.

You can find technical guidance on ambulance response time data in our summary article.

Microsoft Excel spreadsheets are available covering the following publications:

  • UK Accident and Emergency (A&E) waiting times
  • UK cancer waiting times
  • UK inpatient, outpatient and referral to treatment waiting times
  • UK diagnostic waiting times

Because of accessibility requirements these Microsoft Excel waiting times documents cannot be provided directly on this website. You can ask for a copy of any of these publications by emailing

Technical documents last updated: May 2023

Page last updated: September 2023