National Cardiac Audit Programme

National Cardiac Audit Programme (NCAP) Report 2022 (2020/21 data)

Download the National Cardiac Audit Programme Annual Report for 2022

The Heart In Lockdown

The NHS faced huge challenges during this time. Across cardiovascular services, bed capacity and staff were redeployed to support COVID-19 patients. Out-patient services were seriously disrupted. There were high levels of illness across the workforce. Staff had to take special measures to protect patients as well as themselves.

Maintaining clinical care for patients has been the top priority of the cardiovascular community. Alongside this, great efforts were made to maintain a flow of audit data to the NCAP programme delivered by the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (NICOR). This has enabled the analytical work needed to track the impact of the pandemic on cardiovascular services and patients.

With our academic partners, we quickly summarised the early effects on services in our 2020 COVID report, Rapid cardiovascular data: we need it now (and in the future) along with the updates that followed. This report, with a more comprehensive dataset for 2020/21, now looks at the overall impact of the pandemic in that first year. The NCAP analyses combined with inputs from our clinical colleagues, patients and carers, have allowed us to summarise experiences during that time as well as highlighting lessons to be learned for service recovery and quality improvement.

The Annual Report is accompanied by supporting reports from all the six domains covered by the audit programme and a dedicated Annual Report for Patients, Carers and the Public, which was co-written by NICOR patient representatives Sarah Brown and Richard Corder.

Below are links to landing pages for all six sub audits. Data by hospital is available for each of these sub audits and can be found on the respective web pages linked below.

National Cardiac Audit Programme Sub-Audits

Learn about progress in diagnosis and treatment

The treatment of heart conditions continues to evolve and this report describes a number of key developments to enable an understanding of what constitutes high quality care.

See how improvements in services are changing outcomes for patients

The key aim of service improvement is to deliver better outcomes for patients, both in terms of their chances of survival and the experience they have while being cared for, and the report presents findings on how these are changing. With improved survival rates, emphasis is shifting to other measures that are important to patients and which can be used to audit change over time.

Find out the results for particular hospitals and clinicians

The findings in this aggregate report are presented at a national level. This should allow stakeholders to understand both where advances have been made to deliver quality improvement and remaining challenges. In reading this document it will be clear that many of the issues are common to the different types of heart disease and management. However, there is important information specific to individual cardiac conditions that are also of great interest. This report will enable an interested person to work from the improvement questions to the specific area of interest in a seamless and efficient way. More detailed information of the performance of a particular hospital (or to compare hospitals) is provided using links to the full ‘granular’ data analyses for each audit throughout the report. For the vast majority of hospitals, the results are reassuring and patients, providers and commissioners can have confidence in the quality of their local services. For some hospitals, however, there are elements of service delivery that could be improved and the audit data can point to where improvements can be made.

Two of the audits (Angioplasty and Adult Surgery) provide data on the performance of individual ‘operators’ (i.e. the surgeons or cardiologists undertaking the procedure). This is part of the Clinical Outcomes Publication (COP) programme run by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and made available through the NHS Choices website. While individual performance is dependent on a number of external factors, including ‘case mix’ and institutional/team characteristics, these data are of great interest to patients and the public and the results can form part of the annual appraisal that all practising medical professionals undertake.

Some of the cardiovascular services covered are funded by regional commissioners but many are highly specialised and are commissioned nationally. This report and the supporting hospital-level data provide a means of establishing how providers are performing and will aid local, regional and national discussions on service delivery.

Become more familiar with the nature of the conditions

A summary of the cardiovascular diseases and related treatments are included in Appendix A of the NCAP 2018 Annual Report.

Understand how audit data comes together and how the analysis works

The organisation of the national audits and the methodology used in producing results are explained in Appendix B of the NCAP 2018 Annual Report.



Earlier Reports (2018, 2019, 2020)