Calculating the Secondary Care Diagnostic Interval for patients in England (2014 – 2015 diagnoses)

The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) in partnership with Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has produced population-based statistics on the Secondary Care Diagnostic Interval (SCDI) for patients in England across 25 cancer sites. This project shows variation in SCDI length by various factors of interest and Cancer Alliance.

The SCDI is defined as the period of time, in days, from when a patient first interacts with secondary care for a suspected cancer to when they are diagnosed.

This work uses cancer registration data as a base to identify the cohort of patients, and is linked to a number of national datasets to identify the start and end points of the SCDI. The data focus on the six-month time period immediately before diagnosis date to strike a balance between identifying the earliest occurring relevant secondary care diagnostic event while minimising the inclusion of events unrelated to the cancer diagnosis. For more information on the methodology please refer to the Standard Operating Procedure.

Site list

 SCDI_site_list_v1

Outputs available

  • Standard Operating Procedure (SOP): this SOP describes the method used to generate the SCDI.
  • Online tool: this tool presents boxplots for SCDI length by various factors of interest and Cancer Alliances for patients diagnosed with cancer in England in 2014 – 2015. Summary data and graphs are available to download.

Upcoming outputs

  • Academic paper: The paper is the main output from the preliminary phase of the project in which the methodology was developed using colorectal and lung cancer sites as case studies. It presents SCDI interval length and adjusted odds ratios for factors of interest.
  • Blog: the purpose of the blog is to describe the main trends for variation in SCDI length by factors of interest and Cancer Alliance.