About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) presents performance against the National Head & Neck Cancer Quality Performance Indicators (QPIs) in the Cancer QPIs dashboard held within the Scottish Cancer Registry and Intelligence Service (SCRIS).

Main points

  • There were 1,182 people diagnosed with Head & Neck Cancer in Scotland from April 2020 to March 2021. This was an increase from April 2019 to March 2020 where 1,143 people were diagnosed but a reduction from April 2018 to March 2019 (1,243 people diagnosed).
  • At Scotland level for April 2020 to March 2021, the target was met for 11 of the 19 indicators.
  • Some of the QPI targets have proved challenging to achieve over the three years (Smoking Cessation, Oral and Dental Rehabilitation, Nutritional Screening, Specialist speech and language access, Post Operative Chemoradiotherapy and Clinical Trials).
  • It is reassuring however that several QPIs achieved the target nationally (QPIs relating to Pathological Diagnosis, Imaging, Multi-Disciplinary team meeting, Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy and 30/90 day mortality).
  • Following a national formal review of Head & Neck Cancer QPIs in late 2021, there will be numerous changes to existing QPIs in future years.


National cancer quality performance indicators have been developed to support continuous quality improvement in cancer care (CEL 06 2012). NHS Boards are required to report these indicators against a clinically agreed indicator specific target as part of the mandatory national cancer quality programme. They have been developed collaboratively by North Cancer Alliance, South East Scotland Cancer Network, West of Scotland Cancer Network, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and PHS.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be May 2025.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.cancerstats@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 21 March 2024
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