Improving data completeness

This page provides information for how NHS organisations in England and Wales can improve their data.

Each NABCOP annual report makes recommendations on the care and treatment received by older women diagnosed with breast cancer, using results produced from data analysis. These recommendations also encourage all NHS organisations who diagnose and treat such women to review and check their data in order to ensure it is complete and accurately reflects local practice.

The NABCOP publishes the NHS organisation-level information that contributes to each of the core indicators reported on in the annual report so an NHS organisation can see how they perform in comparison to others. Each organisation should review this information and ascertain whether it accurately reflects local practice. Where this is considered not to be the case, further investigation should be undertaken to understand why; specifically we hope the following information will help you to do this.

For NHS organisations in England

For NHS organisations in England, there are a number of ways to improve the data that are submitted to the NABCOP:

National Cancer Registration & Analysis Service (NCRAS) CancerStats website

The CancerStats portal gives NHS providers the ability to review the quality of their data submissions to the NCRAS. It allows users to check the completeness of key data items and conduct comparisons with local, regional and national averages to calculate relative performance. NHS Staff on an N3 Network are able to access the portal by registering with CancerStats.

NHS Trusts can look at some key breast cancer data items submitted as part of the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD).

  • The NABCOP Level 2 report gives a summary of these key data items and enables Trusts to see where there is room for improvement.
  • The NABCOP quarterly report gives a 3-month snapshot of data completeness for key data items.
  • Users of the Somerset Cancer Register (SCR) system can download a SCR dataview. This allows the user to look at patient level data and identify areas that require improvement.

Click here for detailed guidance on using CancerStats

Data Liaison in England

The Data Liaison team within the NCRAS have a wealth of knowledge on cancer pathways and processes within NHS Trusts and can help to improve the quality of data submissions. Each geographical region has an allocated Data Liaison Manager who can be contacted for further information and support.

COSD Data Case Studies

The page below provides some examples of the different approaches used by some NHS trusts to ensure their COSD submissions to NCRAS are as complete as possible.

Click here for examples on ensuring good COSD data completion

For NHS organisations in Wales

To be able to achieve a high standard of data, and as part of the ongoing data validation, a number of processes have been introduced. These have been initiated by the Wales Cancer Network (WCN) information team as a guide to aid the MDTs within the local health boards to review, check and improve their data on breast cancer patients:

  • National Audit Time Frame document for Validation.
  • National Audit Breast Validation Checklist.
  • Quarterly reports initially to the cancer services co-ordinators with any inconsistencies highlighted.
  • Yearly reports run and distributed to designated clinicians within the health boards for validation of accuracy and completeness.
  • Validated reports signed off by the network audit lead for data submission.
  • An extensive amount of work is undertaken by the WCN Information Specialist, individual hospital co-ordinators, clinicians and the Network audit lead before finally submitting the Welsh Breast data.