National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research

The National Cardiac Audit Programme (NCAP) UPCARE tool

The Understanding Practice in Clinical Audits and Registries (UPCARE) tool is intended to summarise key information about how the audit has been designed and how it is carried out. It will help all our users understand the methods, evaluate the quality and robustness of the data, and find the information and data which is most relevant to their needs.



NICOR collects data and produces analysis to enable hospitals and healthcare improvement bodies to monitor and improve the quality of care and outcomes of cardiovascular patients. NICOR manages six national clinical audits and a number of New Technology registries. NICOR is a unique partnership of clinicians, IT experts, analysts, academics and managers, which provides project, technical and analytical support for all of our audits and registries.

Clinical information about cardiovascular patients is collected by hospitals across the UK and stored in our secure databases. Our audits and registries were set up with clinical input and backing from specialist cardiovascular societies. The professional societies continue to provide clinical leadership to ensure that the audits and analyses are clinically relevant.

We provide information to the Department of Health, the Care Quality Commission and other regulatory bodies to enable them to check that standards of care meet national guidelines for good practice, and to compare outcomes such as casemix-adjusted survival rates between hospitals.


We encourage the use of the data for research, and invite applications from external research groups to use our data. Several current and proposed research projects link information from different data sources about individual patients’ disease and treatments. This enables a patient’s care to be tracked across primary and secondary care, and across multiple visits to hospital, to build up a detailed picture of the treatment of cardiovascular disease in the U.K.

NICOR has experience of linking data to other national datasets such as the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) and Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES), which provides a unique opportunity for research into cardiovascular epidemiology and long term outcomes.

More information can be found on the data access and research pages of the website:


Following a European Union tender process the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (NICOR) from 1 July 2017 was hosted at Barts Health NHS Trust to manage the new National Cardiac Audit Programme (NCAP).

On 24 June 2022 the hosting contract for the National Cardiac Audit Programme was transferred to NHS Arden and GEM CSU. A TUPE transfer of all NICOR staff took place.

Prior to the creation of  NCAP, NICOR was hosted at University College London (UCL