NHS England has today published new ratings providing a snapshot of how well different areas of the country are diagnosing and treating cancer and supporting patients.

Based on data published over the course of the last two years, the Clinical Commissioning Group Improvement and Assessment Framework provides an initial baseline rating for six clinical priority areas, including cancer.

The ratings, which are broken down by local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and published on MyNHS, show areas in need of improvement, but also highlight areas of best practice.

The overall rating for cancer is based on four indicators or metrics; early diagnosis, one year survival, 62 day waits after referral, and overall patient experience.

Cancer Alliances will play a key role in bringing together local leaders, including from CCGs, to drive improvement in cancer outcomes, including reducing variation and promoting the sharing of best practice.

In response to the publication of these data, an NHS England spokesperson said:

“NHS cancer patients’ care is now the best it’s ever been, but we’ve set stretching goals to save thousands more lives by 2020. Measured against this ambition it’s not surprising that most local services need to make further improvements, but we’re going to track progress transparently so everyone can see how we are improving care and outcomes for patients.

“Over the past four years adult smoking rates are down by nearly 1 million people demonstrating the benefits of a comprehensive public health policy. This will be the single biggest contributor to reduced cancer deaths.

“On top of current funding, this year we are also investing an extra £15m in improving early diagnosis and setting up Cancer Alliances to bring together leadership across local areas to drive improvements.”