The National Bowel Cancer Audit aims to improve patient care. By looking at what is being done now, the audit can suggest changes to improve care for people with bowel cancer in the future. The audit compares the care bowel cancer patients receive across England and Wales. One way it does this is by looking at the standard of care patients receive and how successful their treatment is.
The audit uses patient information to improve cancer, but it is important that this progress continues. For example, the use of keyhole rather than more invasive surgery has continued to increase year on year. Audits are most effective when information from as many patients as possible is collected. So every patient is valuable to the audit.
The more patients we have information about, the more accurate the results are likely to be.
What does the audit look for?
- Differences in the quality of care and services across England and Wales
- If hospitals are meeting national guidelines
- Which hospitals are performing very well, so that learning can be shared across the country
What does NHS Digital do with your information?
They use your NHS number to link your information to other secure information sources, such as the National Radiotherapy Dataset. This linked information tells the audit more about your treatment – for example, if you had an unplanned return to hospital.
The linked information from you and other patients across England and Wales is given to The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) to analyse and use in the audit reports. The information is anonymised so you cannot be identified.
They may also provide NHS numbers of deceased patients to hospitals so they can check the information they have entered in the audit database is correct.
How does the audit keep your information safe and confidential?
NHS Digital is the government organisation set up to collect and study information on health and social care. It carries out many audits to improve patient care. Data protection and patient privacy are an important part of the audit.
The National Bowel Cancer Audit has been given permission to use and store patient information in order to carry out this audit in line with strict regulation under Acts of Parliament.
Your anonymised (non-identifiable) information may be shared for research. For example:
- Publishing papers in medical journals to provide information to medical staff on the best standards of care
- Providing information to guide public health policy, such as looking at the impact of early diagnosis
Your right to say no
If you do not want your information to be used, please tell the people who are treating you. They will make sure your information is not used in the audit.
This will not affect your treatment and care in any way.
Patient and Carer Panel
The NBOCA Clinical Advisory Group has established a Patient and Carer Panel with the aim of increasing patient and carer input into the annual audit and any other reports and documentation and for advising them on other matters that concern them.
Where can I see the audit reports?
The audit produces a report every year, including a patient report, as well as short reports, which look at particular topics, such as length of hospital stay.
Which information sources is data linked to?
- Hospital Episode Statistics (HES)
- Office of National Statistics (ONS)
- National Radiotherapy Dataset (RTDS)
- Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT, the chemotherapy dataset)
- Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre Dataset (ICNARC)
- Patient Episode Database for Wales (PEDW).
- Patient Reported Outcomes (PROMS) and Cancer Patient Experience Survey
Want to know more?
If you would like more information on the audit you can contact NHS Digital by email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0300 303 5678
Acknowledgments: This information has been adapted from the NBOCA patient information leaflet