National audit of cancer diagnosis in primary care

This National audit of cancer diagnosis in primary care was undertaken in 2009/10 as part of the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative. It was led by Professor Greg Rubin, with the RCGP, the National Cancer Action Team and the National Cancer Intelligence Network.

The RCGP, Cancer Research UK, Public Health England, NHS England and Macmillan ran an enhancement of the audit in 2016/17 which gathered data on cancers diagnosed in 2014. The initial results of this audit are published in the British Journal of General Practice. To find out more, please visit Cancer Research UK’s website.

National cancer diagnosis audit report

The NCDA found that in 2014:

  • Most patients (72%) first presented at the GP surgery (or had a home visit)
  • 74% of patients were referred to a specialist after only one or two consultations; approximately 52% were referred through the Two Week Wait route
  • Primary care led investigations before referral were used in 45% of all patients
  • For 44% of patients, there was evidence in the clinical record that safety netting had been used

Read the full publication about the NCDA findings


The below template includes the data items captured in the National Cancer Diagnosis Audit and may be used in your own practice if you wish to audit cancer diagnoses. Please note that the template should only be used for internal audit at the practice, and any patient identifiable data captured in the template must be kept safe and secure at the practice.

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