Site Specific Clinical Reference Groups (SSCRGs)

Terms of reference | Membership

To ensure that the data now available is used to improve clinical care, as well as to advise on what data needs to be collected and what analyses conducted, the NCIN has established twelve Site Specific Clinical Reference Groups (SSCRGs). Full details of each group and their work can be found using the links to the left.

A summary of the twelve groups' work during 2009/10 is now available.

Terms of reference

The full SSCRG Terms of Reference (2013) for the SSCRGs are available to downloaded. Briefly, for their disease group, each SSCRG is expected to:

  • To identify the most important clinical outcome measures
  • To identify the key variables which contribute to achieving high standards of care and serviec provosion relating to these outcomes
  • To support the definition and implementation of data sets that enable the identification of key clinical outcome measures taking account of the Cancer Outcomes & Services dataset, Systemic Anti-Cancer Treatment Dataset and National Radiotherapy Dataset and any other relevant national datasets.
  • To promote the linkage of relevant and appropriate sources of data, in particular to bring together information covering the following three main areas:
  1. Clinical activity, performance and outcomes
  2. Infrastructure and process (e.g. Peer Review)
  3. Patient experience and patient-reported outcomes
  • To advise on the minimum standards of data completeness and quality for key elements of the relevant dataset(s).
  • To support and promote the use of cancer information in the commissioning process and the implementation of best practice as defined by National Guidance such as Improving Outcomes Guidance and NICE Quality Standards as appropriate.
  • To advise the NCIN on priorities for national analyses and publications; and to assist in bidding for additional resources if required.
  • To support efforts to better understand what is already known about variations in clinical outcomes in the UK and internationally.
  • To advise the NCIN on the handling of the publication of reports that name outlying institutions or clinicians and any associated press releases, in collaboration with the NCIN Scientific Advisory Group where appropriate.
  • To advise on relevant audit and research activity, both within the UK and internationally which may have value in promoting the aims of the NCIN. This includes the identification of existing datasets.
  • To build strong links with the relevant NCRI Clinical Study Groups and other appropriate NCRI initiatives.
  • To promote clinical and voluntary sector engagement in all elements of the work of the NCIN.
  • To assist in the writing, editing and interpretation of relevant site-specific NCIN reports.
  • To support the use of data in service improvement initiatives that promote changes in clinical practice and / or service provision which achieve improved patient outcomes.
  • To help identify ways in which data can assist in promoting informed choice for patients and members of the public about the quality of the services available.


All members of an NCIN SSCRG provide specialist expertise in terms of their clinical or service related role, or as consumer and voluntary sector stakeholders. Details of SSCRG Members Roles and Responsibilitiesare available for download and are summarised below.

SSCRG membership is of two main types - members from particular organisations where SSCRG membership is part of their role, (‘organisational members’), and appointed members. Some SSCRG members also have additional liaison roles to fulfil:

  • A liaison role between the SSCRGs and other groups or organisations
  • Supporting the integration of the SSCRG work programmes with other national initiatives, such as Improving Outcome Guidance (IOG), Clinical Audit and Peer Review.

Organisational membership comprises members of the NCIN co-ordinating team, representatives from the lead PHE Knowledge and Intelligence team, NHS England, and the National Cancer Strategic Team (including Peer Review).

The appointed membership includes representation from people or organisations with an interest in the NCIN. These include the Chairs; clinical specialists along the cancer patient pathway (e.g. screening, diagnostics, nursing, surgery, clinical and medical oncology, end-of-life care, primary care, and others relevant to that tumour site) members of the voluntary sector, and consumers.

Liaison roles are where members fulfil an additional function over and above their specialist expertise. These include representation from the UKs devolved nations, links with the relevant NCRI Clinical Studies Groups, responsibility for national and other clinical audits, membership of the Royal Colleges and other professional bodies, and involvement with relevant national projects including dataset development, staging, co-morbidity/performance status and screening.