Cancer data analysis in the West Midlands

Developing a suite of cancer data analysis tools using data from multiple sources.

The challenge

West Midlands Strategic Clinical Network approached SCW to collaborate on an ambitious project to develop a suite of cancer data analysis tools. The tool needed to utilize as many data sources as were available and present the data from provider and commissioner viewpoints.

The aim of developing the cancer data analysis tools was to: gather data from all possible data sources, develop tools specific to commissioner requirements, develop tools specific to provider requirements and gather available data into one central data repository.

The approach

A CCG dashboard was firstly created bringing all cancer data into one place, clustering the indicators into themes, and providing a searchable platform for CCG and tumour groups. The cancer waiting times tool was developed using statistical process control to understand how systems in the region are performing to deliver waiting times targets alongside a suite of tumour-specific service profiles for use by the Expert Advisory Groups.

More in-depth analysis on a range of topics, including developing a direct access imaging dashboard, a GP profiles data explorer, an analysis of two-week wait referrals by practice, and a tool that enabled a quadrant analysis of cancer referral analysis at a GP practice level, plotting conversion against detection rates. Maps plotted conversion against detection rates.

The result

The analysis available includes:

  • Informed discussions around delivery plans helping the cancer network team in planning their work program
  • Highlighted the Cancer Outcomes Services Dataset (COSD) raising awareness of this and thereby encouraging clinicians to own their COSD data and increase data completeness, robustness, and quality.

"Rebecca (in the Quality Observatory) has delivered a number of extremely valuable tools that have allowed me to highlight the wealth of cancer data available. And through the clever design of interactive workbooks, she has made that data more accessible to the wider cancer network" - James Gillies - Network Quality Improvement Manager.

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