Using evidence

Our national and local evidence on the needs of the cancer population informs and supports the commissioning of services for people affected by cancer. This information supports evidence-based strategies and plans, commissioning intentions and service specifications tailored to local needs and preferences.

Bespoke local support

If you are interested in meeting with Macmillan staff in your area to find out more about your local cancer population and how Macmillan can support you with cancer evidence and needs analysis, email us.

Macmillan tools and resources

These cancer statistics draw on the best sources of data and generate our own insights to understand more about people living with and affected by cancer in the UK and their experiences.

How we use evidence and data

This animation explores some of the ways Macmillan Cancer Support uses data and evidence to drive service improvement for people living with cancer.

How we use evidence and data

This animation explores some of the ways Macmillan Cancer Support uses data and evidence to drive service improvement for people living with cancer.

Featured articles

Improving one-year cancer survival

Our Improving One-Year Cancer Survival guide [PDF] is aimed at clinical commissioners who are responsible for improving the outcomes and experience of people affected by cancer in their area. It focuses on the commissioning landscape in England but the recommendations are relevant across the UK.


Local Cancer Intelligence

The Local Cancer Intelligence tool for England has been created by Macmillan, in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). It helps you understand the changing cancer population. It includes data on prevalence, incidence, mortality, survival, patient experience and routes to and from diagnosis. 

The Local Cancer Intelligence tool for Northern Ireland is in collaboration with the N. Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR).


Hidden at home

Research and evaluation reports

We publish research and evaluation reports for the service improvement and transformation models that Macmillan develops in partnership with the NHS and local authorities. From transforming cancer follow-up to evaluating a pilot workforce model to partnerships with libraries to review the specialist adult cancer nurse role to evaluation an electronic Holistic Needs Assessment (eHNA), we are sharing our learning and best practice.

View our set of short six-minute videos on 'Evaluating System Redesign', which discuss the challenges and possible solutions to evaluating large-scale system redesign to help us get the most out of our evaluations of these programmes across the UK.

Read further academic research reports on people affected by cancer.

Further evidence, insight and impact briefings

Use our series of rich pictures to shape your services. They provide in-depth insight on the numbers, needs and experiences of different groups of people living with cancer (e.g. by cancer type, age, carers, end of life, BME, LGBT).

You can also use our impact briefs which summarise key facts and evidence of the impact of services that Macmillan provides or supports. They are illustrated with case studies, quotes and research findings and service evaluations.

Routes from Diagnosis

Our Routes from Diagnosis programme of research analysed almost 85,000 cancer patients’ interactions with the NHS in England over seven years – the richest picture yet of cancer survivorship. We have mapped the cancer journey from diagnosis to death or continued survival, describing the health outcomes that people experience. We also looked at how the frequency and rate of cancer diagnoses are affecting the health care system. For example, the length of time people spend in hospital, when they access a health care service, and how much this costs. This innovative insight is a valuable tool to inform the service development and commissioning agenda.

Useful external tools and resources

In England:

Cancer Commissioning Toolkit - this Public Health England resource supports commissioners and providers with cancer intelligence. Information can be accessed at CCG and GP Practice level. The data can assist you to identify patterns of care that can contribute to saving lives, give options regarding services, ensure value for money and share information to help improve patient experience.

NHS England & Right Care Commissioning for Value packs - this suite of materials includes a range of comprehensive data packs and online tools and gives CCGs and NHS England in the regions practical support in gathering data, evidence and tools to help them transform the way care is delivered for their patients and populations.


In Scotland:

Cancer intelligence in Scotland – NHS Scotland’s Information Services Division (ISD) manages the Scottish Cancer Registry and produces detailed statistics and publications on cancer incidence, prevalence and mortality. Data is used for: 

  • public health surveillance 
  • planning and commissioning cancer services
  • evaluation of the impact of interventions on incidence and survival
  • clinical audit and health services research.

Guidance on strategic commissioning - The Scottish Government has produced a suite of guidance for Health and Social Care Partnerships in Scotland, who are responsible for commissioning community health and adult social care. Guidance includes: 

  • strategic commissioning of services 
  • planning services in localities 
  • engaging third sector in planning and commissioning. 

ISD also produces data and guidance to support the new Health and Social Care Partnerships.

The Joint Improvement Team (now part of Health Improvement Scotland) has developed a suite of tools, guidance and resources to support all those with an interest in commissioning community health and adult social care services. The resources are designed to encourage greater collaboration of resources and knowledge.


Contact us

For further information, please email the commissioners team.

Ways to get support


You don’t need to face cancer alone. Find out more about our free support line, Macmillan nurses, information services and support groups near you.

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Local area

What's happening near you? Find out about support groups, where to get information and how to get involved with Macmillan where you are.

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