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National Bowel Cancer Audit

The National Bowel Cancer Audit is a high-profile, collaborative, national clinical audit for bowel cancer, including colon and rectal cancer.


The 2016 Annual Report has now been published and is available on the right hand link under National Bowel Cancer Audits. The report includes patients diagnosed between 1 March 2014 and 31 March 2015.

This year is the first year that we have published a patient report, which is also available under the audit reports heading.

Individual trust summary reports have been published and are available in the audit reports section.

The audit is currently analysing data for the 2017 Annual Report, patients diagnosed between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016. 

The latest documentation for the 2015-16 reporting period is available on this webpage, including the summary of dataset changes. The final submission deadline has now passed and no new patients can be added for inclusion in the 2017 Annual Report and Clinical Outcomes Publication (COP).

The 2017/18 dataset is available on this webpage.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK after breast and lung cancer, with approximately 40,000 new cases registered each year. Occurrence of colorectal cancer is strongly related to age, with almost three quarters of cases occurring in people aged 65 or over. Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK.

The audit aims to improve the quality of care and survival of patients with bowel cancer, and meets the requirements as set out in the NHS cancer plan, NICE guidelines and the report of the Bristol Royal Infirmary inquiry.

We want to help make sure that people with bowel cancer receive the best care possible. The more we know about the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of this disease and the outcomes, the more can be done to improve things. The National Bowel Cancer Audit is designed to provide this vital information. 

What does it measure?

Information in the audit includes:

  • audit participation by NHS Trust and data completeness for key fields
  • measures about the process of care given to patients
  • information about care outcomes and treatment

How is the data collected?

The audit includes all NHS Trusts in England and Health Boards in Wales.

All participating trusts submit their data via the Clinical Audit Platform (CAP). The Welsh data is submitted directly from the Cancer Network Information System Cymru (CANISC) to the Clinical Audit Platform. Details on how to access this data collection system, as well as the registration form can be found under User Documents. 

Who manages the audit?

The audit is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP), and delivered jointly by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) Clinical Effectiveness Unit, NHS Digital, and the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland (ACPGBI).

NHS Digital provides project management and technical infrastructure, while the ACPGBI provides clinical leadership and direction.

How to participate

All patients with a diagnosis of bowel cancer admitted for the first time to a NHS Trust in England or Health Board in Wales are eligible for inclusion in the audit.

In order to allow trusts to plan for the submission of data for the 2018 Annual Report, the National Bowel Cancer Audit wish to advise that these will be the dates for data submission (patients diagnosed between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017):

6th October 2017First  submission deadline for 2016/17 data for the 2018 Annual Report and 2018 COP
26th January 2018Second submission deadline for 2016/17 data for the 2018 Annual Report and 2018 COP
TBCFinal submission deadline for 2016/17 data for the 2018 Annual Report and 2018 COP

Trusts who submit data to the Audit data collection system using the Somerset Cancer Registry (SCR) can visit the SCR website to view their fully updated SCR mapping and guidance documentation  The documentation shows how codes entered into local Somerset systems map to codes with the Audit dataset as part of data upload process.


In 2017 a short report on Optimal time interval between neoadjuvant long-course radiotherapy and major resection in English rectal cancer patients diagnosed between 2011 and 2014 was published and is available to view here.

The 2016 Annual Report and Patient Report was published on Friday 16 December 2016.

The Clinical Outcomes Publication (COP) 2016 was published in November 2016 and is available on the ACPGBI website.

In October 2016, the audit published two short reports and an organisational audit.

Use of Audit Tools and Documentation Outside of the Clinical Audit

You hereby agree that in downloading or using the documents or tools on this web page for any use outside of the project for which it was developed, you are entering into a royalty free, non-exclusive, licence agreement with the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership under the following Terms and Conditions:
All information, software, products and related graphics contained in the audit tool or data collection form are provided for non commercial purposes  "as is" without warranty, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement of third party intellectual property rights. In no event shall HQIP be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages for loss of profits, revenue, data or use incurred by you or any third party, whether in action in contract, tort, or otherwise, arising from your access to, or use of, the audit tool or form. HQIP make no representations about the suitability, reliability, or timeliness, and accuracy of the information, software, products and related graphics contained in the audit tool or forms. HQIP reserves the right to make improvements, changes or updates to forms or tools at any time without notice.

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