Collecting and using data

Data collection

NCRAS is involved in a range of work to understand what information is required for the delivery of cancer services; to improve data quality and timeliness; and to link datasets together and make them available to improve outcomes. This part of our website describes our work on defining what data are collected and how these data are protected and used.

The population level cancer registries in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales collect information about every patient diagnosed with cancer. Cancer registries are allowed by law to collect this information to help us better understand and treat cancer. Access to this information is strictly controlled and our publications never identify any individual. At the UK level, we co-ordinate information which is already aggregated. You can find out more about cancer registration from the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries . A leaflet with information for patients is also available for health professionals to distribute to cancer patients, explaining what the cancer registry is, what it does and the benefits of cancer registration.

Data release

NDRS cancer registration data is made available to properly authorised analysts and researchers under our data access arrangements through NHS Digital's Data Access and Release Service (DARS)

Potential requestors should familiarise themselves with the guidance on the DARS website and the data dictionary covering the data available for request. The data dictionary below lists the datatsets available through NDRS as well as limitations and timeliness of each dataset.