The National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA) is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). In 2015 the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) won the tender to run the audit for the next 3–5 years.
In 2018 the NLCA was awarded the remaining 2 years and will now run until 2020; the National Mesothelioma Audit was extended in line with this.
What we are doing
The NLCA was developed in response to the finding in the late 1990s that outcomes for lung cancer patients in the UK lagged behind those in other westernised countries, and varied considerably between organisations within the UK. The audit began collecting data nationally in 2005, and since then has become an exemplar of national cancer audit.
The NLCA has previously achieved outstanding levels of NHS participation with data being used to drive improvements in the quality of care for people with lung cancer. The RCP aims to build on this success by delivering a new NLCA that incorporates key advances in the field of lung cancer, diagnosis and treatment, whilst retaining the most successful elements of the previous audit.
Key features of the NLCA audit include:
- All trusts in England contribute to the audit, and data is submitted on approximately 100% of incident cases.
- An annual report has charted overall steady improvement in care, with more patients having access to surgery and to other anti-cancer therapies.
- NLCA data has been widely disseminated through abstracts at national/international meetings and in peer-reviewed publications.
- Local data has been used as a driver for numerous local service improvement projects.
- The data has also been used to underpin National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines, to inform research protocols and to guide national service developments.
The NLCA is commissioned to produce patient-level booklets of our annual reports, which we started to do in 2017.
Requests for secondary use of data
The NLCA team is committed to sharing the NLCA data and ensuring the greatest possible use comes from the hard work of collection. Applications for accessing data are now being received and processed by the Office for Data Release (ODR) at the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service.
In late 2014 the contract for the NLCA was awarded to the RCP and is now delivered in partnership with a number of key stakeholders:
- The National Cancer Registration Service at NHS England collects and processes the NLCA data through the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD).
- The University of Nottingham is sub-contracted through the RCP to provide the analysis.
- The audit is also delivered in partnership with the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation representing lung cancer patients, the Welsh Lung Cancer Special Advisory Group, the National Lung Cancer Forum for Lung Cancer Nurses and the British Thoracic Oncology Group.
- Clinical leadership is provided by lung cancer experts recruited through the Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit at the RCP.