Frequently asked questions for Patients

What is the National Prostate Cancer Audit (NPCA)?

This is a national clinical audit assessing the quality of services and care provided to men with prostate cancer in England and Wales. The National Prostate Cancer Audit collects clinical information about the treatment of all patients newly diagnosed with prostate cancer in England and Wales and information about their outcomes. The Audit’s findings will give us a better understanding of how patients are being looked after. This will help NHS hospitals to improve the care they provide to prostate cancer patients.

What is clinical audit?

Clinical audit is a method that health care professionals use to look at and improve patient care by comparing how patients are treated and the outcomes of care against set standards and guidelines.

In a clinical audit, information on the care received by patients is collected and analysed to see if individual clinicians and hospitals are following national clinical standards, such as those published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). These audits also produce information for hospitals to compare their outcomes of care with other hospitals.

Who is running the NPCA?

The national clinical audit is run by the Clinical Effectiveness Unit (CEU) of The Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS), the British Association of Urological Surgeons and the British Uro-oncology Group. We are funded by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme. The day to day running of the NPCA is based at the RCS and is managed by a project team including clinicians, audit experts and cancer information specialists.

Why is the NPCA looking at the care of men with prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men with over 46,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the United Kingdom. One in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime and over 330,000 men are living with prostate cancer.

We want to make sure that men with prostate cancer receive the best care throughout England and Wales. We communicate our findings to hospitals about the areas of prostate cancer care they are doing well in and where they could improve. The results will also be available to the public and patients.

Which patients are included in the NPCA?

Clinical information is collected for all men diagnosed from the 1st April 2014 in England and the 1st April 2015 in Wales.

Which hospitals takes part in the NPCA?

All NHS hospitals in England and Wales that offer prostate cancer care participate in the NPCA.

How are patient data being collected?

We use information about patients that has been collected by national organisations in England and Wales. These organisations include the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) and the Wales Cancer Network (WCN) in Wales. These organisations are allowed to collect data on patients diagnosed with cancer. Further information about these organisations, the data they collect and how you can opt out can be found here.

What is the NPCA Patient Survey?

Men with localised prostate cancer who receive radical surgical or radiotherapy treatments usually survive for many years with the potential side effects of these treatments including urinary, bowel and sexual dysfunction. The NPCA Patient Survey is designed to determine patients’ views of their experience of care and outcomes following diagnosis and treatment.

Patients are asked questions about their quality of life, side effects, sexual/urinary/bowel complications, the information they received about their prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment options, and how the decision about their initial treatment was made.

Why have I been invited to participate in the NPCA Patient Survey?

Men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer between the 1st April 2014 and 30th September 2016 in England and the 1st April 2015 and 30th September 2016 in Wales are being sent a questionnaire at least 18 months after diagnosis. This includes men who underwent radical surgical or radiotherapy treatments, in addition to those men who are being closely monitored for disease progression.

More information about the NPCA Patient Survey can be found here.

I have a question that is not answered in the FAQs

For all queries related to the NPCA, please contact us.