Skip to main content

SACT data set technical guidance

This document provides technical guidance to support providers of cancer services, e-Prescribing Managers and IT software developers in the submission of the Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT) data set.

Introduction

This content should be read in conjunction with:

You may also wish to read SACT v3.0 implementation guide which provides further support on implementation of the changes to the standard. 

This is a change to the SACT data set standard which builds on the work that has continued over the past 4 years, since the last update. These new changes were required in order to make the data set clinically accurate and also meet the business objectives of the data set.

This process allowed the data set to be clinically reviewed, validated and updated by experts in all fields of cancer and provide a clinically sound set of data to be collected from 2019, and for the lifetime of this version of the data set.

Providers of SACT services are required to provide a monthly return on all cancer patients using this data set. Submissions are made by each provider to the English National Cancer Online Registration Environment (encore) application programming interface (API)3 portal. You can only access on a secure NHSE network with pre-authorised credentials.


General submission principles

Providers must only submit data relating to patients for whom they have provided SACT treatments as follows:

  • submitted files must be sent by secure file transfer methods as agreed with SACT
  • files should be uploaded as early as possible within the reporting month of the ‘trigger event’ for each cancer treatment, to allow plenty of time to fix any errors and map regimens − uploading on the last day will mean that the trust may not have time to fix errors and therefore could be uncompliant for various measures
  • the data set is divided into sections, each of which represents an activity or related group of activities along the treatment pathway
  • individual records must contain the section ‘demographic and consultant’ including both ‘NHS Number’ and ‘Local Patient Identifier’ (where available)
  • ‘Local Patient Identifier’, ‘Person Family Name’ and ‘Person Given Name’ have been added to the data set to allow for patient data to be recorded and submitted for patients who do not have an ‘NHS Number’
  • providers should aim to complete all the relevant data items as soon as possible
  • records in each submission should include all applicable sections where possible

Note:

  • all data must be submitted to SACT in CSV format only

Data extraction in CSV format

Data files are required to be submitted monthly, using the 2-month schedule. For example, submissions of September 2019 activity data (1 September 2019 to 30 September 2019) to be uploaded to SACT as follows:

  • 1 to 30 November 2019 - files containing September data must be uploaded to the portal and all errors on the file must be resolved
  • 15 December 2019 - regimen mapping must be completed and this process can start at any point once the file has been uploaded
  • by 31 December 2019 - all regimen queries must be resolved and the file must be submitted

Note: This upload schedule will continue to apply to all future months.

Data will be extracted from electronic prescribing and other electronic systems, by system software suppliers working with local IT staff in constructing extraction routines.

The database import process requires files to be in a consistent format as follows:

  • extracted data files must be in a single Comma Separated Values (CSV) file only, with a .csv file extension
  • a CSV file template will be available from the SACT team for data suppliers and software system developers
  • CSV files must be of the windows type rather than UNIX, with carriage returns at the end of each line as well as linefeeds
  • none of the data required is case sensitive, excluding row headers
  • CSV files must be saved with a text delimiter set to the double-quote character in order to allow the use of commas in data values
  • all dates must be in a consistent date format in all the SACT data files submitted for example 'ccyy-mm-dd'
  • each file must have a consistent (standard) header row within all the files submitted by the Trust (see section 7 below)

Note:

  • it will not be possible to upload a file with any errors, all errors must be corrected before the file can be submitted

SACT Column Header Convention in CSV Format

The first row of the CSV file should consist of the Column Headers with the column names in exactly the format shown below (that is including underscore characters). CSV files should not be compressed or packaged in any way.

CSV files should contain only, and all of, the following column headers in the following order, regardless of the data items that can be supplied. The mapping to data set items is shown by the Column Number.

Column Header                  

Column Number

Data Set Item Number

NHS_Number

1

1

Local_Patient_Identifier

2

44

NHS_Number_Status_Indicator_Code

3

43

Person_Family_Name

4

45

Person_Given_Name

5

46

Date_Of_Birth

6

2

Person_Stated_Gender_Code

7

47

Patient_Postcode

8

5

Consultant_GMC_Code

9

7

Consultant_Specialty_Code

10

8

Organisation_Identifier_(Code_Of_Provider)

11

9

Primary_Diagnosis

12

10

Morphology_ICD-O

13

11

Diagnosis_Code_(SNOMED_CT)

14

48

Adjunctive_Therapy

15

49

Intent_Of_Treatment

16

15

Regimen

17

16

Height_At_Start_Of_Regimen

18

17

Weight_At_Start_Of_Regimen

19

18

Performance_Status_At_Start_Of_Regimen_-_Adult

20

50

Comorbidity_Adjustment

21

20

Date_Decision_To_Treat

22

21

Start_Date_Of_Regimen

23

22

Clinical_Trial

24

23

Cycle_Number

25

26

Start_Date_Of_Cycle

26

27

Weight_At_Start_Of_Cycle

27

28

Performance_Status_At_Start_Of_Cycle_-_Adult

28

51

Drug_Name

29

31

DM+D

30

52

Actual_Dose_Per_Administration

31

32

Administration_Measurement_Per_Actual_Dose

32

53

Other_-_ Administration_Measurement_Per_Actual_Dose

33

54

Unit_Of_Measurement_(SNOMED_CT_DM+D)

34

55

SACT_Administration_Route

35

33

Route_Of_Administration_(SNOMED_CT_DM+D)

36

56

Administration_Date

37

34

Organisation_Identifier_Of_SACT_Administration

38

35

Regimen_Modification_-_Dose_Reduction

39

38

Regimen_Outcome_Summary_- _Curative_(Completed_As_Planned)

40

57

Regimen_Outcome_Summary_-_Curative_(Not_Completed_As_Planned)_Reason

41

58

Other_-_Regimen_Outcome_Summary_-_Curative_(Not_Completed_As_Planned)_Reason

42

59

Regimen_Outcome_Summary_Non_Curative

43

60

Regimen_Outcome_Summary_Toxicity

44

61


File submission via the EnCORE API

When a CSV file is ready for submission to SACT, staff at the reporting organisation can connect using the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) secure file upload system. This system sits behind the English National Cancer Online Registration Environment (EnCORE) application programming interface (API) web portal.

The EnCORE portal can be accessed through most browsers, including:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Chrome

It can be accessed through many devices, such as:

  • Mac
  • PC
  • iPhone and other smart phones
  • iPad and other tablets

Please note this opens in a new window and access from a N3 network is required. N3 is a national broadband network for the English National Health Service (NHS), connecting all NHS locations. The portal requires each registered user to agree to the site's terms and conditions. User logins are held within the repository database along with encrypted passwords for authentication.

Steps to complete each upload

Once you have logged in to the portal, follow the steps to complete each upload.

Step 1

Upload the .csv file to the portal.

Click ‘New Upload’ on the top menu bar.

You are then presented with a new screen where you are required to update 5 upload questions:

  • provider - enter your trust name
  • file type - select Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy - SACT
  • file - click the ‘select file for upload button’ and select your file
  • date - type the date of activity in file
  • notes - type any notes applicable in the free text field

Next, click ‘Upload’ - file progress is shown in the ‘Actions’ tab.

Once a file has been uploaded, a unique password is generated for each batch, this password must be saved before clicking off this page.

Note: This is a one-time-only password which cannot be re-generated or accessed by the helpdesk staff. This password must be used in order to access the portal reporting. The only way to access portal reporting if this password is not recorded is to delete the file and reload the file again.

Step 2

To view errors on the portal, click on the ‘Batch Report’ within the actions tab. This will show you an error summary, highlighting the severity of the error:

  • critical error
  • cannot be mapped or local error
  • can be mapped

Note: a regimen mapping can only be completed by registered mapper or mappers.

This screen also explains:

  • the field with the error
  • a description of the error
  • the current field value and an ability to map from here

Note: critical errors cannot be mapped and must be fixed at source. The file must then be re-loaded to the portal.

Step 3

For critical errors, delete a file and correct errors on local system/file and re-upload to the portal. Where applicable, map incorrect values to the national standard through the portal. Review and internally approve data being submitted with the help of the reports on the portal.

Step 4

Map all outstanding regimens on the file.

Step 5

Correct any ‘queried’ mapped regimens.

Step 6

Once there are no remaining errors, unmapped regimens or queries on the regimen mapping, then the file can be submitted to the data set.


Data submissions and file naming convention

The following file naming convention is to be used for all submissions:

  • UnitID-ccyymmdd-ccyymmdd.csv

Where UnitID is an agreed unique identifier for the supplying SACT provider. It matches the user login's unit code and ccyymmdd is the start date of the data (date of earliest treatment) followed by the end date (date of final treatment).

Files are transferred using the secure web based Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)/Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encrypted protocol, which is used on a daily basis for things like online shopping and online banking No extra action is required at the data suppliers end to establish this apart from being on an N3 network connection.


Data items that should be submitted

All applicable data items specified as either mandatory or required in the data set should be submitted as soon as available.

The mandatory, required, optional or pilot (M/R/O/P) column indicates the requirement for the inclusion of data:

  • M = mandatory - this data item is mandatory; the record cannot be submitted if the mandatory data items are not completed and the file will be rejected if mandatory items are absent and other data items are completed
  • R = required - this data item is required as part of NHS business rules and must be included where available or applicable, however, the section can be submitted without completing all the required items
  • O = optional - this data item can be included at the discretion of the submitting organisation and their commissioners as required for local purposes
  • P = pilot - this data item will not normally be included in the direct submission from cancer service provider organisations unless the provider Trust is part of the specific pilot exercise

In the case of fields Primary Diagnosis and Morphology ICD-O, the requirement will be satisfied by 1 of the 2 fields being completed.


Validation

All data will be validated by SACT (on upload, via the web portal), according to a set of rules. If the data validation rules are not met, the whole or relevant parts (data set sections or records) of the extract may be rejected as described in section 8 (step 2) above. All fields will be validated against both:

  • the information standard, to ensure that mandated fields are submitted
  • the NHS Data Model and Dictionary, to ensure that only valid attributes are submitted (where applicable)

An indication of the areas which require attention will be provided in the form of an error report on screen.

The provider will be expected to resolve any errors/issues or add missing data and re-extract the file for sending to the SACT web portal (critical errors only) by the end of the reporting month, for re-validation:

  • the turnaround time for validation, any re-submission and subsequent re-validation is set to the end of the first reporting month
  • regimen mapping must be completed within 15 days of the following month
  • all regimen queries must be resolved and the file submitted by the end of that month

Note: this requirement also forms part of the Medicines Optimisation CQUIN, and will be embedded in the 2018 to 2019 standard contract.


Reporting

SACT has been working with the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) and has developed standardised feedback reports for the data submitted are available through the CancerStats2 website - (this opens in a new page)

Please note that this platform requires an N3/HSCN secure network connection. To ensure the best user experience, we encourage the use of modern web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge to access the platform. A small number of platform users have reported issues when opening reports using Internet Explorer.

Providers should continue to contact the SACT help desk or their regional NCRAS office to request any data they require, which is not made available via standardised reporting.

Last edited: 16 January 2023 2:37 pm