Frequently asked questions for Professionals

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 NPCA determines whether the care received by men is consistent with current recommended practice, such as those outlined in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidelines and Quality Standards as well as to provide information to support healthcare providers, commissioners and regulators in helping improve care for patients.

How has the contracting of NPCA changed in 2023?

NPCA has moved into the National Cancer Audit Collaborating Centre (NATCAN) at the Clinical Effectiveness Unit of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng).

NPCA retains the same core team and now resides within NATCAN. NATCAN includes three established cancer audits and six newly commissioned cancer audits.

The new NPCA commission will continue to utilise existing national datasets.

NPCA will continue to focus on robust reporting of data for all patient with prostate cancer, earlier availability in reporting outcomes, and a major ongoing emphasis on implementation of quality improvement initiatives.

What is NATCAN?

The National Cancer Audit Collaborating Centre (NATCAN) is a new national centre of excellence which will shine a spotlight on the care and treatment of patients who are diagnosed with cancer in England and Wales. The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), on behalf of NHS England and the Welsh Government, has commissioned the development and establishment of NATCAN, which is part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP). It aims to:

  • Provide regular and timely evidence to cancer services of where patterns of care in England and Wales vary
  • Support NHS services to identify the reasons for the variation in care in order to guide quality improvement initiatives
  • Stimulate improvements in cancer detection, treatment and outcomes including survival

When did NATCAN start and who funds it?

Work on setting up the new centre began on October 1 2022. NATCAN is funded by NHS England and the Welsh Government.

Which patients are included in the NPCA?

All men with an ICD-10 diagnostic code of C61 (malignant neoplasm of the prostate) newly diagnosed in England from 1st April 2014 and one year later in Wales, from 1st April 2015.

How are patient data being collected in NATCAN?

In order to reduce burden on hospital staff, the audits in NATCAN, similar to the existing audits in prostate and lung cancer, do not ‘collect’ clinical data. The cancer audits utilise the nationally mandated flows of data from hospitals to the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS) in NHSE and the Wales Cancer Network in Public Health Wales. Each NATCAN audit will publish a minimum dataset in the Autumn of 2023, comprising relevant data items for each cancer site, which hospitals can check are being completed and submitted to NDRS or the Wales Cancer Network.

NPCA still encourages clinicians to engage with coders and data administrators to ensure data accuracy, especially on staging information provided to NDRS and the Welsh Cancer Network.

As previously happened in NPCA, data from Trust/Health Board data submissions are linked to selected items from national datasets to provide information on the diagnosis, management and treatment of all patients newly diagnosed with each cancer type. That includes patient and tumour characteristics, diagnostic tests and imaging, hospitals appointments and admissions, procedures, treatments, interventions and outcomes.

How can hospitals ensure that the data analysed by NPCA in NATCAN is accurate?

For 2024 reporting onwards (patients diagnosed since April 2022), NPCA will use cancer registry data which includes multiple data sources submitted by trusts, one of the main ones being the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD). The vast majority of NBOCA data items are COSD items – please refer to NPCA minimum data set. We therefore ask hospitals to check the data quality of these data items entered into COSD or the Wales Cancer Network, particularly staging data. CancerStats2 provides trust-level data completeness of key COSD items for hospitals in England.

NPCA will also be using the rapid cancer registry dataset, much of which comes from COSD. It is important that hospitals regularly upload accurate COSD data to NDRS.

Trusts are encouraged to submit all data available on a monthly basis in-line with the COSD reporting timescales. It is expected that the majority of diagnosis and treatment data are submitted within six months of diagnosis. Once the full patient pathway is linked together, the data are provided to the NPCA team to analyse. Further information about the COSD and reporting timescales can be found at the following link:

For queries regarding data submissions in England, please contact your local contact in the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS). They should be able to help you find out more information about your recent COSD submissions.

Please see below the list of regional contacts.

National Karen Graham [email protected]
East Midlands Simon Cairnes [email protected]
Eastern Marianne Mollett [email protected]
London Katrina Sung [email protected]
North West Paul Stacey [email protected]
Northern and Yorkshire Rachel Mann [email protected]
Oxford Gemma Feeney [email protected]
South West James Withers [email protected]
West Midlands Gemma Feeney [email protected]

Who can take part in the audit?

All NHS Trusts in England and Health Boards in Wales that provide prostate cancer services.

Does my hospital have to participate in the NPCA?

Yes, all NHS healthcare providers are expected to participate in relevant HQIP-funded projects within the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme. The NPCA is one of these projects.

Details of the statutory and mandatory requirements for clinical audit are available on the HQIP website .

Is the NPCA included in the reporting for annual Quality Accounts?

Yes, the NPCA is included in the Quality Accounts list for 23/24 and for 24/25.

I have a question that is not answered in the FAQs

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


Last updated: 24 June 2024, 9:34pm