Written by Sarah Miller - Head of Informatics, East of England Cancer Alliances

What the Informatics Team does:

The informatics team in the East of England Cancer Alliances provide a service to NHS England colleagues, local ICBs, hospital trusts, our Patient Partnership Group and other health care colleagues to support them to understand and benchmark their local cancer populations, pathways and outcomes.

Our vision: To deliver high quality, timely and reliable cancer informatics to support improvements in cancer care and awareness for patients and the public, and strive to establish an evidence base and data insights for all projects and key meetings, including Boards.

  • Informatics is the science of how to use data, information and knowledge to improve human health and the delivery of health care services. 
  • Cancer data and intelligence are crucial for measuring, monitoring and evaluating progress against the National Cancer Strategy, the requirements of the NHS Long-Term Plan (LTP) and the annual Planning Guidance. 
  • The East of England Cancer Alliances aim to provide the core team, partners and key stakeholders with the timely and robust cancer informatics they need to deliver high quality and successful local cancer services – transforming our cancer data into intelligence. 

Our Population

There are around 6.5 million people living in the East of England. 

The East of England makes up 11% of the England population.

Our population is spread across six Integrated Care Systems (ICS). These are Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes; Hertfordshire and West Essex; Mid and South Essex, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough; Norfolk and Waveney; and Suffolk and North East Essex.  We have 14 NHS trusts across our region currently delivering cancer services.

  • Each year there are 38,500 cancer diagnoses; the most commonly diagnosed cancers are prostate, breast, colorectal and lung cancers.
  • Primary care staff and trusts see around 32,000 patients on a faster diagnosis cancer pathway each month.
  • Around 5,500 cancer treatments delivered every month.
  • There are 265,000 people living with and beyond cancer in our region.
  • Annually, around 16,300 people die of cancer in the East of England, with lung cancer the most common cause of cancer mortality.




The East of England Cancer Data Source Matrix

The Informatics Team recognise that we have a large range of cancer data sources available to us across the NHS in England. We have received feedback that it can sometimes be challenging to locate the data you need, whether you are a public user or NHS staff member.

As such we have created a new publication that allows you to see a variety of sources in one place: the East of England Cancer Data Source Matrix.

  • Our Cancer Data Source Matrix synthesises a large number of data sources available to NHS users and the public.
  • This is to support your and our understanding of NHS cancer-related services and activity, where it comes from and what different sources contain.
  • Cancer-related analysis may involve using information related to wider demographics of specific areas to help identify variation; thus we have included sources we have found useful for this.
  • The Data Source Matrix allows users to view the tools, datasets and dashboards by including the latest hyperlinks and the Matrix outlines each source’s content.
    • This includes the accessibility (i.e. public or NHS staff only), geographies covered, the inequality parameters included and the frequency of updates.

We aim to refresh this tool around twice a year and we welcome feedback about new sources that we can include or that should be updated by contacting us at: eoe.cancerdata@nhs.net

Sarah data image.jpg


If you are a health professional working in cancer services and you are interested in the work of the informatics team, or feel you may benefit from having access to information toolkits or datasets, please contact england.eoecancerallianceteam@nhs.net .