HANA Aims and objectives

The overarching aim of this audit is to improve the quality of services and the outcomes achieved for patients with head and neck cancer in England and Wales.

This aim will be achieved through the following objectives:

  1. To build on the learning of the audit to date, preserving and further developing the most successful design features, with particular emphasis on improving its capacity to support quality improvement.
  2. To achieve and maintain close alignment with relevant NICE national guidelines and quality standards throughout the audit, as appropriate.
  3. To continue to develop mechanisms to extend the audit to cover key aspects further along the patient pathway, including referral, diagnosis and longer term outcomes, including the treatment-associated morbidity of survivors.
  4. To build on the current development work around risk adjustment to ensure that risk adjustment is included in all relevant reporting under this contract.
  5. To enable improvements through the provision of timely, high quality data that compares providers of healthcare, and comprises an integrated mixture of named Trust or Health Board, Cancer Strategic Clinical Network, MDT and consultant level reporting.
  6. To continue to develop the reporting schedules for the audit to improve the timeliness by which data is made available and to consider the needs of the full range of audiences who may contribute to improving patient outcomes.


 Audit Scope & Design

After more than ten years, the provision, development and management of the National Head and Neck Audit has moved from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) to Saving Faces – The Facial Surgery Research Foundation.

The audit is funded by NHS England and the Welsh Government and includes all NHS Trusts in England and Health Boards in Wales.

The new contract commenced on 1st July 2015 and transition activities are expected to run until December 2015.

Under the new management the audit will be named the Head and Neck Cancer Audit (HANA) and the informatics element will be provided by Dendrite Clinical Systems.

The audit will continue to be commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, on behalf of NHS England and the Welsh Government and as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP). Data collected by the HSCIC to date will be transferred to Dendrite as soon as appropriate permissions are in place.

Over the next six months, Professor Iain Hutchison, Chief Executive Officer of Saving Faces and the Clinical Lead for HANA will visit each Head and Neck Cancer NHS MDT in England and Wales to describe the vision for the new audit, answer questions, gain feedback and clarify logistical arrangements for participation.

The audit will assess various aspects of patient care including:

  • Structures – such as the availability of on-call consultants to deal with postoperative problems
  • Processes – such as whether a mouth cancer operation took place on the planned date
  • Outcomes – such as the number of cancer patients who remain disease free for five years

Saving Faces are working closely with the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists (BAHNO) and a team of specialists to ensure that HANA focuses on information that is really relevant to patient outcomes.