National Lung Cancer Audit

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.

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.

If you have any further questions please email the ODR at or the NLCA team at

Who's involved


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:

What we have produced

The NLCA report 2016 demonstrates the key findings from the audit for lung cancer patients diagnosed in 2015 in England, Wales, Guernsey and Scotland. 
This report summarises the key findings from the 11th annual National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA) for patients diagnosed with lung cancer in England, Wales, Guernsey and Scotland in 2014.

The NLCA annual report 2014 provides a summary of comparative audit data on the treatments and outcomes for lung cancer patients who were first seen in NHS secondary care in 2013.

The National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA) was commissioned to collect data and report on patients in England and Wales.
The clinical outcomes publication is an initiative to publish quality measures at unit level and the level of individual consultant doctor using national clinical audit and administrative data.

The National Lung Cancer Audit recently hosted a series of workshops around the country to share the vision and plans for the audit over the next 3 years.

This is the second mesothelioma audit report to raise the profile of this asbestos-related cancer and to make recommendations to improve outcomes for mesothelioma patients.