The National Clinical Audit Support Programme (NCASP) is commissioned by the Healthcare Commission to manage national clinical audits including the national lung cancer audit (LUCADA). The Healthcare Commission is not currently planning to make participation in audits mandatory. However, the Healthcare Commission conducts an annual health check of national health service organisations and since 2005-06 has been using participation in national clinical audits as part of the health check for NHS trusts. The Healthcare Commission is currently considering whether to include measurement not only of participation in audits, but also of data completeness and quality in its annual health check.
The Department is currently developing a cancer reform strategy. In developing the strategy, the Department is specifically looking at how to strengthen commissioning of cancer services and how to improve the information available on clinical outcomes. Discussions are under way on improving clinical outcomes data including the use of comparative information such as that provided through the NCASP audits. We expect to publish the cancer reform strategy by the end of the year.