National Head and Neck Cancer Audit

Data for head and neck oncology (DAHNO)

The National Head and Neck Cancer Audit was commissioned and sponsored by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, HQIP developed in partnership with BAHNO (British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists) and managed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

What does it measure?

Measuring clinical care is notoriously difficult. Variations in casemix and resource have confounded attempts to identify good and bad practice. Establishing a national baseline is the first step in defining existing care delivery. Improving outcomes guidance (IOG) has produced a model of care delivery and 33 local delivery plans have been defined.

Measures of compliance against the IOG document have been issued and a peer review process started in 2007. National audit provides a tool to assess compliance with these standards and identify resource limitations. Measuring clinical care is more than ticking boxes to achieve compliance. It should include a local re-appraisal of care delivery methods, and the ability to compare local standards and nationally derived figures is a significant advance.

This national audit focuses on cancer sites within the head and neck (excluding tumours of the brain and thyroid cancers) the most common being the larynx and in the oral cavity.

How does it work?

The audit works by collecting data from hospitals within England & Wales which diagnose and treat patients with cancer of the head & neck. Analysis is undertaken to measure individual trust and cancer network performance against the national IOG and BAHNO (British Association of Head & Neck Oncologists). These results are published in an annual report.

Head and neck cancer audit reports

8th Annual Report

The National Head & Neck Cancer Audit 2013 (patients diagnosed between 1 November 2012 and 31st October 2013) was published on 11 July 2014.