NOGCA's move into the National Cancer Audit Collaborating Centre


    1. How has the contracting of NOGCA changed in 2023?
    2. What is NATCAN?
    3. When did NATCAN start and who funds it?
    4. What is NATCAN doing differently?
    5. How are patient data being collected in NATCAN?
    6. How can hospitals ensure that the data analysed by NOGCA in NATCAN is accurate?

How has the contracting of NOGCA changed in 2023?

NOGCA has moved into the National Cancer Audit Collaborating Centre (NATCAN) at the Clinical Effectiveness Unit of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng). From 2024, NOGCA will use existing national datasets for its reporting.

NOGCA retains the same core team and now resides within NATCAN.  NATCAN includes three established cancer audits and six newly commissioned cancer audits.

Data for patients diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancer up to 31 March 2022 should have already been submitted and will be used in the 2023 NOGCA Annual Report. To reduce administrative burden on OG cancer MDTs, reporting from 2024 onwards will utilise existing national datasets.

NOGCA will continue to focus on robust reporting of data for all patients with OG cancer, and incorporate earlier availability of data in reporting outcomes, and a major ongoing emphasis on implementation of quality improvement initiatives.

What is NATCAN?

The National Cancer Audit Collaborating Centre (NATCAN) is a new national centre of excellence which will shine a spotlight on the care and treatment of patients who are diagnosed with cancer in England and Wales. The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), on behalf of NHS England and the Welsh Government, has commissioned the development and establishment of NATCAN, which is part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP). It aims to:

  • Provide regular and timely evidence to cancer services of where patterns of care in England and Wales vary;
  • Support NHS services to identify the reasons for the variation in care in order to guide quality improvement initiatives;
  • Stimulate improvements in cancer detection, treatment and outcomes including survival.

When did NATCAN start and who funds it?

Work on setting up the new centre began on 1 October 2022. NATCAN is funded by NHS England and the Welsh Government, with £5.4m for an initial period of three years.

What is NATCAN doing differently?

  • All audits within NATCAN will use linked national routinely collected datasets for its core outputs. This will make the process of producing relevant and robust performance indicators more efficient.
  • Rapid cancer registration data, that allow timely (three months following diagnosis) quarterly reporting to providers, will be used alongside annual State of the Nation reports based on “gold-standard” cancer registration datasets (data available at least 18 months after diagnosis).
  • Each audit in NATCAN will carry out a quality improvement initiative using the rapid cancer registration data at least once in the first three years. The aim is to “close the audit cycle”, following an approach commonly referred to as the “plan-do-study-act” method. This will be a first at national level for cancer audits.

How are patient data being collected in NATCAN?

In order to reduce burden on hospital staff, the audits in NATCAN do not ‘collect’ clinical data. This is similar to the design of existing audits in prostate and lung cancer, which utilise the nationally mandated flows of data from hospitals to the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS) in NHSE and the Wales Cancer Network in Public Health Wales. Each NATCAN audit will publish a minimum dataset in the Autumn of 2023, comprising relevant data items for each cancer site, which hospitals can check are being completed and submitted to NDRS or the Wales Cancer Network.

NOGCA encourages clinicians to engage with coders and data administrators to ensure data accuracy, especially on staging information provided to NDRS and the Welsh Cancer Network.

Using this approach, NOGCA will receive clinical information for every patient diagnosed with OG cancer in England and Wales. Data from Trust/Health Board data submissions will be linked to selected items from national datasets to provide information on the diagnosis, management and treatment of all patients newly diagnosed with each cancer type. That includes patient and tumour characteristics, diagnostic tests and imaging, hospitals appointments and admissions, procedures, treatments, interventions and outcomes.

How can hospitals ensure that the data analysed by NOGCA in NATCAN is accurate?

For 2024 reporting onwards, NOGCA will use cancer registry data which includes information from multiple data sources submitted by hospitals, one of the main ones in England being the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD). The vast majority of NOGCA data items are COSD items. We therefore ask hospitals to check the data quality of these items entered into COSD or the Wales Cancer Network, particularly staging data. CancerStats2 provides trust-level information about data completeness of key COSD items for hospitals in England.

NOGCA will also be using the rapid cancer registry dataset, much of which comes from COSD. It is important that hospitals regularly upload accurate COSD data to NDRS.

Trusts in England are encouraged to submit all data available on a monthly basis, in line with the COSD reporting timescales. It is expected that the majority of diagnosis and treatment data are submitted within six months of diagnosis. Once the full patient pathway is linked together, the data will be provided to the NOGCA team to analyse. Further information about the COSD and reporting timescales can be found at the following link:

For queries regarding data submissions in England, please contact your local contact in the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS). They can help you to find out more information about your recent COSD submissions.

Please see below the list of regional contacts:

Region Contact
National Karen Graham [email protected]
East Midlands Simon Cairnes [email protected]
Eastern Marianne Mollett [email protected]
London Katrina Sung [email protected]
North West Paul Stacey [email protected]
Northern and Yorkshire Rachel Bethell [email protected]
Oxford Gemma Feeney [email protected]
South West James Withers [email protected]
West Midlands Gemma Feeney [email protected]