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Scottish Cancer Registry

How data are collected

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

How data are collected

The Cancer registration process is managed by a team of highly trained staff. Some are based at the headquarters of NHS National Services Scotland in Edinburgh, others at hospital locations throughout Scotland.

Data Sources

The Scottish Cancer Registrations team use an electronic registration system to bring together information from:

  • Hospital patient administration systems including patient discharges from hospital, radiotherapy, oncology, haematology and pathology records;
  • Screening datasets;
  • Death records from National Records Scotland (NRS);
  • Private hospitals; and
  • Community prescribing.

There are approximately 800,000 source records processed annually by the Scottish Cancer Registry using a complex set of rules and linkage routines to create provisional records. The system is an accrued record of information on primary tumour(s) including patient data, diagnostic information and subsequent treatments.

Image showing how data are collected

Verification Process

Once at least six months have elapsed since the date of diagnosis (this allows the treatment information to accrue) our hospital based Cancer Information Officers (CIOs) use the electronic source data on our registration system along with local hospital systems, case notes and primary care records, to determine if the provisional registration should be verified.

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