National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (NICOR)

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 currently manages 11 national clinical audits and health 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 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.

The National Cardiac Audit Programme (NCAP) comprises 11 specialty domains, each of which is focuses on a particular cardiovascular disease area or treatment:

  1. The National Congenital Heart Disease Audit (NCHDA), the ‘Congenital’ audit
  2. The Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP), the ‘Heart Attack’ audit
  3. The National Audit of Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (NAPCI), the ‘Angioplasty’ audit
  4. The National Adult Cardiac Surgery Audit (NACSA), the ‘Cardiac Surgery’ audit
  5. The National Heart Failure Audit (NHFA), the ‘Heart Failure’ audit
  6. The National Audit of Cardiac Rhythm Management (NACRM), the ‘Heart Rhythm’ audit
  7. The National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation (NACR), the ‘Rehab’ audit

As well as the following Structural Heart Disease Registries:

  • The UK Transcather Aortic Valve Implantation (UK TAVI) Registry
  • The Percutaneous Mitral Valve Repair (PMVR) Registry
  • The Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) Registry
  • The Patent Foramen Ovale Closure (PFOC) Registry.

The aim is to deliver better outcomes for patients, both in terms of their chances of survival and the experience they have while being cared for. Each domain provides a background to the national picture and presents findings on how these are changing.

The domain reports provide the opportunity to:

  • review quality standards
  • report on key quality improvement data for each financial year
  • present advancements in cardiovascular medicine and surgery
  • show how the service has changed over time
  • demonstrate more effective and efficient care and improved survival rates
  • share how we monitor and review (procedural) activity in England, Wales and, for some audits, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
  • review how quality standards and/or guidance is met by each hospital.

The NCAP Annual Report for 2023 (2021/22 data) is currently in progress and will be published later this year.

The 2022 report is available here: NCAP Annual Report for 2022.

In June 2022, the NICOR cardiac audits transitioned to NHS Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit. If you have any general enquiries please contact NICOR via email nicor.auditenquiries@nhs.net or for an queries on Data Access Requests (DARs) please email nicor.datarequests@nhs.net.

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.



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: