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Head and Neck Cancer Audit 2024

Deadline for submission to RCR: 16 September 2024

Background and aims

The RCR consensus process was initially developed in 2016 to help reduce variation in UK radiotherapy practice. The Head and Neck cancer consensus statements were released in 2022 to serve as a stimulus for Head and Neck cancer teams to review their existing radiotherapy service and were adopted nationally in parallel with the relevant National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance.

The aims of this RCR Head and Neck cancer audit 2024 are to assess the effectiveness of the RCR consensus process/implementation of the consensus statements. Additional data on cancer waiting times is to assess the workload and adequacy of resources in Head and Neck oncology practice in the UK. This is an opportunity for you to provide feedback and highlight any barriers.

What you need to do

Each treating centre have been assigned a unique centre ID number. Below are three links to SurveyMonkey:

  1. Survey on implementation of the consensus statements: Please use the link to provide one response per centre. Please discuss this with your wider multi-disciplinary Head and Neck team (clinical oncologists, radiographers, dosimetrists, physicists etc) and provide your valuable feedback.
  2. Survey on H&N MDT: Please use the link to provide one response per centre. You may take into consideration the attendance at an MDT between 15/04/24 to 05/08/24 or on an average.
  3. Survey on granular patient data: You are requested to provide one response per patient and the questionnaire can be used as many times as needed to include all eligible patients treated in the specified time period. We ask you to allocate each patient a different patient audit ID number and to record this locally against the patient. Please do not send patient identifiable information such as NHS number or case note number, as we are not allowed to collect this. Please keep records, in case of query, until the national report is published.
  • To streamline the process, consider splitting the questionnaire tasks between diagnostic/preparatory elements and radiotherapy planning details. We suggest capturing data as patients progress, then submitting it on SurveyMonkey either immediately for each patient with complete data, in batches of patients with complete data or all at once when all data on all patients is available.
  • One centre has an SpR leading data capture, pre-populating an Excel spreadsheet during peer review for all radical patients. Cancer waiting times and demographics are pre-filled by radiotherapy booking clerks and stored in a shared folder. Transcribing this data to SurveyMonkey is an extra step but significantly improves validation and reduces queries.

The SurveyMonkey questionnaires may take a short while to load due to variation of security configurations between different NHS organisations; if they fail to load, please attempt to use a non-work device or email [email protected].

Copies of the questionnaires are available to assist in completing the surveys online (they cannot be used to submit data):

Online submission is secure and uses question routing to ensure participants only see the questions they need to answer. Data will be anonymised prior to reporting of results.

Data collection time period and patient cohort

Inclusion criteria: Patients undergoing Radical Radiotherapy for Head and Neck cancer with or without concurrent chemotherapy between 15/04/2024 to 05/08/2024. (Patients should be starting their first fraction within the above timescale.) Both Primary/Definitive Radical RT or Adjuvant RT are included. (If pts had neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by Radical RT/CRT, they will be included too if their start of RT falls within the specified period.)

Exclusion criteria: Patients with primary skin cancer and patients with primary skin cancer with metastases to parotid/neck.

The timelines:

Data collection for patients starting radiotherapy between 15/04/2024 and 05/08/2024

Deadline for submission to RCR: 16/09/2024

We will send you serial reminders throughout the period.

Collaborating authors / CPD

To recognise the contribution of audit leads and other RCR members, we ask you to provide us with up to two names per participating institution to be listed as collaborating authors (subject to successful publication in Clinical Oncology). If you do not provide a name(s), the current audit lead will appear on the list. Note also, CPD credit: 1 per hour in relation to work done, 1 for reflection, 1 for impact. In case of query or if you are no longer the audit lead, please email [email protected]. Where possible, we have contacted your local Head and Neck lead and asked him/her to link in with you.

RCR H&N consensus audit group
On behalf of the Clinical Oncology Quality Improvement and Audit Committee (COQIAC), RCR