This study was a collaboration between The Royal College of Surgeons of England Clinical Effectiveness Unit and the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists (BAHNO). We created a multidisciplinary database through an enquiry to all 49 UK radiotherapy centres. A questionnaire audit identified teams and individuals in the UK involved with treatment of head and neck cancer. A questionnaire on their organisation, and intentions for change was sent to the 108 teams (90% response) and 11 sole practitioners (45% response) identified. Overall, 335 surgical consultants were involved in the treatment of 7500 cases per annum, with large variations in size of catchment populations served by teams. Mean length of time spent with each out-patient was 11 min. Of respondents, 58% were already using the BAHNO basic dataset and more indicated intention to use it, but only 32% could actually deliver information on their work-load. More computerisation of data collection is essential, and national audit may bridge the data gap.