Audit to improve care

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have created a central resources hub for Health Professionals which hosts all of our CRUK resources and further materials to help with managing the pandemic. We are updating the information as guidance changes. There is also a page specifically for patients on our about cancer hub.

Health Professional COVID-19 and Cancer Hub

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The NCDA data collection is currently closed. A template for practice internal use is available below to support continuous audit between national cycles.

Download the NCDA data proforma

Our ambition is to see 3 in 4 people survive their cancer by 2034. The National Cancer Diagnosis Audit (NCDA) helps us to better understand pathways to cancer diagnosis, what works well and where improvements could be made, to achieve better outcomes for patients.

The audit:

  • Supports reflection, learning and targeted quality improvement
  • Enables primary care to evidence and share existing good practice
  • Strengthens local and regional cancer intelligence
  • Helps to deliver strategic ambitions in relation to earlier cancer diagnosis across the UK
I found the whole process incredibly easy and very informative. The information gathered highlighted good practice and areas that require improvements to help change future practice and improve patient care. Furthermore, the work can go towards my Continued Professional Development as part of my annual appraisal. It is definitely worth doing and I am planning to do the audit again next year. - GP from Doncaster

Our ambition is to see 3 in 4 people survive their cancer by 2034. We support the NCDA, as it drives improvements in early cancer diagnosis at GP practice, local, regional and national levels.

For GP practices, Primary care Networks and clusters the NCDA:

  • Enables evidence to be collated and existing good practice to be shared
  • Supports reflection, learning and targeted quality improvement planning for earlier cancer diagnosis
  • Helps practices understand how they compare to similar practices  
  • Identifies patients for case study discussion and peer learning
  • Demonstrates quality improvement to support GP appraisal, revalidation and CQC inspections
‘This is a quality review tool. It will help you review your practice’s processes and improve your care of patients with cancer.’ - GP from Farnham.
‘Completing the audit really helped shine a light on the whole patient journey and where things could be improved’ – GP from Aberdeen.

For CCGs, Health Boards, Cancer Alliances and other oranisations, the NCDA:

  • Provides valuable local and regional cancer intelligence
  • Helps monitor the impact of early diagnosis initiatives and interventions
  • Contributes towards improving health outcomes locally, and addressing variation between GP practices, especially in relation to one-year survival and the proportion of cancers diagnosed following an emergency presentation
  • Identifies where support may be needed
  • Helps deliver transformed cancer services, especially in relation to early diagnosis

At national level, the NCDA:

  • Helps to deliver strategic ambitions in relation to earlier cancer diagnosis across the UK
  • Helps monitor the impact of early diagnosis interventions, such as changes to clinical guidelines and pathways (including changes introduced due to Covid-19)
  • Provides large datasets on pathways to cancer diagnosis for research purposes

Continuous cycles of the NCDA will support ongoing quality improvement activity at practice level and beyond.

We have at least two patient representatives on our steering group for the audit. They ensure the audit is informed by the views and experiences of cancer patients, as well as other experts. Currently we are working with two patients, who are part of our UK-wide steering group, as well as a third patient representative in Scotland.

This National Cancer Diagnosis Audit is being operationally managed by Cancer Research UK, but is a broad partnership that involves support and input from: The Royal College of General Practitioners, Macmillan Cancer Support, Public Health England (specifically the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service), NHS England, Public Health Scotland, Scottish government, Public Health Wales (specifically the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit), the Wales Cancer Network, the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (at Queen’s University Belfast), as well as our patient representatives and academic partners.


Join the conversation and follow @CRUKHCPs for news, updates and opinion.


Last reviewed

If you have any questions about the NCDA, email us: