SACT Newsletter

Click  here to access the latest edition of the SACT newsletter

SACT newsletter - Latest edition


New SACT portal - Launched June 2018

 Click here to access the new portal   SACT PORTAL


SACT Guidance

pdf SACTv3 revised dataset launch and ongoing monitoring

SACTv3: Confirmation of readiness to start uploading

Latest Regimen List available through TRUD

Click here to access further guidance and training

pdf SACT escalation guide for non-compliance


pdf SACT CancerStats reports and update schedule

New data standard Resources

Excel SACT_Dataset_v3.0_Final

pdf DCB1533 SACT - User Guide

pdf DCB1533 SACT - Technical Guide


Help Desk


New Helpdesk Telephone:

01865 458350

SACT - General FAQs

pdfDownload the FAQs as a pdf document - Revised August 2018

Return to FAQ main page

Section A – SACT general FAQs


A.1            What is SACT?

A national collection of all cancer chemotherapy in the NHS in England commenced in April 2012.  This is in line with the requirements of the Department of Health’s policy document, Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer (January 2011).  The Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT) Information Standard defines the framework within which the data will be collected and analysed.


A.2            Is it mandatory?

From the 1st April 2012 the collection and timely submission of the SACT dataset became mandatory for all NHS trusts in England with phased implementation up to April 2014.  Since then, submission of monthly SACT data with 100% field completion has been required.


A.3            What is the purpose of the SACT dataset?

This is an important initiative with a wide range of benefits in terms of demonstrating current clinical management in cancer chemotherapy. It is used both in providing and commissioning chemotherapy.  It supports patients and their clinical teams in choosing appropriate care based on accurate knowledge of current practice and the corresponding benefits and toxicities of treatment. The SACT dataset also provides an analytical function which makes regular clinically approved reports available to key stakeholders.

The SACT team is the central collation point for all data submissions in England, and is responsible for management and quality assurance of the data and the provision of support to submitting units.


A.4            How does the SACT relate to other data collection?

The SACT dataset is intended to integrate with the other clinical NHS datasets enabling a complete patient pathway to be recorded relating to treatment outcomes. NCRAS has linked cancer incidence data to HES and similar processes can be applied to radiotherapy and chemotherapy.


A.5            Does SACT need separate patient consent or is it already covered under the cancer registries?

SACT providers do not need to get specific consent from patients in order to submit patient identifiable SACT data to the dataset as it is covered by the same governance rules as the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. All cancer registration data falls under the same Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 allowing its transfer for agreed purposes to the NCRAS. 

The NHS Health Research Authority has confirmed that reporting of patient identifiable data to the SACT dataset is covered by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service existing support under the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002. Reported data will be managed by the SACT team, which is part of the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, where there is expertise in managing large volumes of confidential data. In compliance with the fair processing requirement within the Data Protection Act 2018, and

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016.  Provider organisations are expected to inform patients of this purpose for reporting their information and of the potential use of the information for service development, analysis and statistical research.

 More information can be found in the ISB SACT standard specification.


A.6            Can we collect this data if we don’t have an e-Prescribing system?

All trusts are contractually obliged to procure an e-Prescribing system by NHSE. The SACT dataset is designed to be collected in combination with an e-Prescribing system.  Higher data quality and greater efficiency of data collection is achieved by using these two systems in combination.

There are a number of trusts who are able to upload detailed patient data without the use of e-Prescribing systems. Demographic data and basic information on chemotherapy delivery is already collected for commissioning purposes. A variety of electronic patient management systems are capable of providing information on the regimen and number of cycles given however an e-Prescribing system provides the additional functionality of recording each drug administration. Please contact the SACT team for best practice and support and guidance on implementing an e-Prescribing system (SACT  


A.7            What do we need to do?

All trusts have now set up systems to submit data to SACT. Trusts are required to submit SACT data monthly.  Further work is needed to ensure regular submissions.  Guidance is provided on the SACT website: and trusts can contact the SACT team for further assistance.


A.8            Is there any financial support available?

There is no dedicated financial support available but the SACT team is working with system suppliers to develop generic reporting processes which will be available to users of the main systems. 

SACT targets were included as part of the MO CQUIN 2017-2018 and financial rewards were available for meeting SACT data quality and completeness targets in this period.


A.9            What support is available to trusts and sites?

The SACT Helpdesk team offer support to anyone uploading, validating and submitting data.  The SACT team also offer on-site data liaison visits to trusts, providing the opportunity to discuss challenges and identify how we can help to overcome any issues. We are also setting up an online forum for users to raise queries as well as learn and share best practice with other trusts. The SACT website ( provides general background and details of the support available.  Any queries or visit requests should be sent to


A.10          Will the dataset change?

The SACT Information Standard is scheduled to be updated in 2019.  The revised dataset has been developed following extensive consultation with clinicians, SACT uploaders and NHSE and is currently in review. We anticipate the dataset will be approved by March 2019 and trusts will start uploading the new dataset September 2019.  We will work with trusts March-September to ensure any necessary system changes are implemented and to train users for the new dataset.   


A.11          We prescribe chemotherapy for patients and this is delivered in their homes by a private provider. Should we be reporting this activity?

Yes, we would expect the trusts to be responsible for submitting data to SACT as they prescribe it.  At the point of prescribing chemotherapy most of the SACT data should be available.  Confirmation of delivery from the private provider would be needed.  As with other chemo, the trust consultant team should decide when to amend or stop treatment.


A.12          There are several SACT websites, what are they all for?

1. Main SACT website (

  • The main SACT website contains useful background information and training resources for the SACT dataset. 
  • It also contains links to the other sites detailed below.

 2.  SACT portal, registration site (

  • New users can register for the SACT upload portal through CancerStats.
  • If you are already registered on CancerStats and required access to the SACT upload portal please contact the SACT team ( and we can add SACT portal access to your existing account.
  • This site is accessible to users with an NHS net email.

 3.    SACT upload portal (

  • Users can access the portal to upload SACT data each month.
  • Users should log in using your CancerStats account log in details.      (See #2 for how to set up a CancerStats log in).
  • This site is accessible to users with an NHS net email.

 4.    SACT reports (

  • SACT reports are available through CancerStats2.
  • Users will need to set up a separate registration on the CancerStats2 homepage to access SACT reports
  • This site is accessible to users with an NHS net email.

A.13          I have been contacted by the SACT team and asked to submit data for patients treated through the CDF. Why?

For certain drugs are funded through the CDF, SACT data is analysed to answer areas of uncertainty raised by NICE committees. This analysis is used to inform the final approval decision.  As such, it is essential we have high quality and completeness for CDF treatment data. Where we are missing key information for patients treated with CDF drugs the SACT team may contact you to request retrospective submission of data.