Data from cancer centres connected to provide full population coverage for Scottish NHS

The Scottish Cancer Registry and Intelligence Service (SCRIS) has successfully connected Systematic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT) data from all of Scotland’s five cancer centres – providing the Scottish NHS with national coverage.
According to the University of Edinburgh, following the connection of the final two ChemoCare databases, the SACT data view is now complete for the whole population of Scotland – with the SCRIS team set to work on making this information available to view via a dashboard, across the next two years. This will mean that clinicians and organisations can ‘benchmark’ their services against others in Scotland and create a ‘learning healthcare system’ for Systematic Anti-Cancer Therapy. It’s hoped this could ultimately help improve clinicians’ patient offering.
The move also fits with the ‘Once for Scotland’ cancer treatment protocols which, according to the University, has the goal to establish a ‘national consensus’ on cancer data collection and linkage.
Data is already been used by NHS Scotland and SCRIS to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer services. A SACT prototype dashboard is currently being refreshed weekly to produce an activity report for the Scottish National Cancer Recovery Group, which is overseeing the response and recovery of cancer services in the current phase of the pandemic.
As an example, the University says that viewable dashboard data includes number of attendances and can be broken down by cancer type, chemotherapy type or by the specific Cancer Network. This will be refined further over the next two years so that datasets can provide better analysis for a broader number of topics.
In addition, a National Cancer Intelligence Platform is also under development for Scotland – with the plan to bring cancer datasets together in one place for easier access. These will be available for Public Health Scotland analysts to use, with the potential for NHS cancer analysts and others to access the data in future.
Gregor McNie, Lead of the Cancer Policy Team at The Scottish Government, said: “The work of the SCRIS and the wider cancer data team in developing a national view of SACT data from across Scotland is a great achievement. This will ensure improvements in treatments for patients are based on evidence from a national level. The development of the National Cancer Intelligence Platform will continue to drive the “Once for Scotland” approach to the wealth of cancer data we have in this country.”
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