Making clinical audit data transparent
In his transparency and open data letter to Cabinet Ministers on 7 July 2011, the Prime Minister made a commitment to make clinical audit data available from the national audits within the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme.
The information available from this webpage comes from the National Bowel Cancer Audit. The Audit covers Strategic Clinical Networks and NHS Trusts in England and Wales.
What information is being made available?
Audit participation by NHS Trust and data completeness for the key fields
Measures about the process of care given to patients
Information about care outcomes and treatment.
These data do not list individual patient information nor do they contain any patient identifiable data.
Using and interpreting the data
Data from the National Bowel Cancer Audit requires careful interpretation, and the information should not be looked at in isolation when assessing standards of care.
Data are provided by place of surgery in secondary care for the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013. As a result, some trusts that only provide some specialist treatments for patients and do not supply surgical data are not fully represented in these data. We estimate the number of patients diagnosed at each trust from the Hospital Episode Statistics database and that number provides the ‘denominator' for the case ascertainment. It is much more difficult to define a population denominator for specialist centres because patients treated there have often been diagnosed elsewhere, and the treatment they provide is usually only one part of a complex care pathway. Therefore their performance should not be assessed from the results as published here. These trusts do however fully participate in the audit by providing treatment data for the referring trusts.
Accessing the data
The data are being made available on the data.gov website. Each year files of data from the National Bowel Cancer Audit will be made available in CSV format. Trusts and Networks are identified by name and their national code.
What does the data cover?
The data measure levels of completeness for data submitted to the National Bowel Cancer Audit and measures of performance in the audit at trust level for key performance measures for assessing standards of care for bowel cancer in secondary care. Details of these standards can be found in the appendices of the National Bowel Cancer Audit Report 2014.
Are all Trusts included?
All Trusts in England that manage patients diagnosed with bowel cancer are included.
What period does the data cover?
This data covers patients with a date of diagnosis between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013.