Quarterly Report - Data Quality (England), July 2024

This is the first quarterly report published by NBOCA to use centrally collected data from the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS) and provides an overview of the quality of key data items captured in rapid cancer registration data (RCRD). The report consists of three parts:

  • Data quality of key items for people diagnosed with bowel cancer in English NHS trusts between 1st January 2023 and 31st December 2023
  • Data quality of key items for people undergoing major surgery for bowel cancer in English NHS trusts between 1st October 2022 and 30th September 2023
  • A high-level summary of patient characteristics for those diagnosed between 1st January 2023 and 31st December 2023

Click on the button below to download your copy of the Quarterly Report.

Quarterly Report (Data Quality), July 2024

Please note that data for Wales are not available on a quarterly basis at this time.

This first quarterly report on data quality is intended to highlight to Trusts where data submissions to the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD) could be improved to enable better reporting on NBOCA performance indicators in the future.

Why is the focus on data completeness?

We have initially focused on data completeness as this aspect of data quality underpins what we can reliably and robustly report as an audit. In England, NATCAN receives information from the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS), part of the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS), NHS England. NDRS collects patient-level data from all NHS acute providers on people with cancer using a range of national data-feeds. This includes the Cancer Registration datasets and the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD). COSD data are submitted to the NDRS on a monthly basis via Multidisciplinary Team electronic data collection systems.

What should a trust do if their data completeness is below target levels?

NDRS has regional Data Liaison Managers who support NHS teams submitting cancer data to NDRS with advice and support on data improvement initiatives. We encourage trusts to get in touch with this team for support and advice. Contact details are found here.

Data sources used in this report:

For this quarterly report, the NBOCA utilised data from the Rapid Cancer Registration Dataset (RCRD). This is the first time this data has been used for reporting by NBOCA. This dataset is compiled mainly from COSD records and is made available more quickly than the complete cancer registration dataset. Additional raw COSD items have been made available to NATCAN, however due to lack of processing their completeness/ accuracy is unknown. It also does not have complete coverage of all patients diagnosed with bowel cancer in England during the reporting period. For more information regarding the RCRD, including the data dictionary, please visit RCRD webpage.

The diagnosis reporting period of 1st January 2023 to 31st December 2023 was selected as it covers the most recent complete four quarters of data received (Q1 2023 to Q4 2023). Results are reported for a one year period to ensure sufficiently large numbers of records are included to produce reliable estimates at the trust level. The surgical reporting period is one quarter behind to allow time for procedures to occur and details to be submitted to NDRS.

This NBOCA report allocates diagnostic records to NHS organisations based on the “trust at diagnosis” recorded within the RCRD dataset.

Surgical records have been allocated based on the trust code recorded within the RCRD events dataset (based on data from HES). If more than one date for a major resection was recorded in either the RCRD events or COSD surgical dataset, the earliest date was used. A small percentage of surgical records (3.2%) were excluded as a trust could not be allocated.

We encourage all provider teams to review their data completeness and make improvements as this will increase the number of patients who can be included in analyses and increase the range of analyses we can conduct. By focusing exclusively on data completeness for this report, we are aiming to spotlight areas where improvements are needed.

How have we chosen these specific data items to focus on?

Overall, the RCRD has very good data completeness and many variables are 100% complete across diagnoses; however, some variables have less than 100% completeness or completeness varies widely between Trusts, and it is these variables that were selected for reporting. When analysing data quality, the NBOCA team recoded values as “missing” that would not be useful in practice and/or are not plausible values. For instance, values such as “not known”, “not specified”, or “not recorded” were considered to be missing, and implausible values such as performance status values other than 0-4 were considered to be missing.

Future reporting:

The term “quarterly reporting” refers to the frequency of publication, with reports anticipated to be published in January, April, July and October each year. Data quality will be reported on a rolling basis with the starting period for each report moving three months forward eg in October 2024 data for patients diagnosed 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024 and those undergoing surgery 1st January 2023 to 31st December 2023 will be published.

For any queries relating to the audit, please contact [email protected].

Last updated: 15 July 2024, 8:36am