Background, data collection and governance

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The National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA) was commissioned to collect data and report on patients in England and Wales.

In 2013 the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD) replaced the previous national cancer dataset as the new national standard for reporting cancer in the NHS in England. The COSD specifies the items to be submitted electronically by service providers to the National Cancer Registration Service (NCRAS) on a monthly basis. The NLCA team has highlighted the data items within COSD that will be reported on for 2016 data.

For more information download the ‘COSD and registry data FAQ’ document at the bottom of the page or watch Barry Plewa from NCRAS introduce COSD:

COSD submissions

COSD lung data must be submitted via the routine COSD submission process agreed with the NCRAS. Data should be as complete and accurate as possible at the time of submission, with the majority of the data submitted for patients within six months of diagnosis.

For users of the Somerset Cancer Registry (SCR), new guidance has been produced on how to record MDT and Care Plan data items. A presentation is available to download below. The SCR website has a full guide on ‘Understanding the National Lung Cancer Audit in SCR’ (N3 connection required).


The NCRAS online CancerStats portal (N3 connection required) provides detailed information about the quality of the COSD data as well as some summary clinical and process measures. Within the portal there is an area dedicated to the NLCA with real-time reporting of data completeness, local results and benchmarking. You can use the ‘First seen’ filter to display cases that were first seen at your trust.

Contact your local data improvement lead, listed in 'Who's involved', for further information.

Analysis methodology for the NLCA 2016 annual report

The NLCA team has produced a supporting document on the analysis methodology for the 2016 annual report. This looks at each indicator in four sections:

  • description
  • rationale
  • calculation
  • target.

The methodology documents are available in the download section.

Who's involved


Contact the regional offices for further details: