About NCA About NCA

About NCA

About NCA

The North Cancer Alliance works across the six health boards in the North of Scotland to improve outcomes for cancer patients.

The North Cancer Alliance (NCA) is a collaboration between NHS Boards in the North of Scotland aiming to significantly improve outcomes for patients with cancer.

The NCA provides strategic focus and vision by taking a regional approach across the three cancer centres hosted by NHS Grampian, NHS Highland and NHS Tayside, which also provide cancer services to NHS Orkney, NHS Shetland and NHS Western Isles. The NCA serves a population base of 1.4 million which represents 26% of Scotland’s total population.

In Scotland, there are approximately 55,000 new cancer registrations every year. The North of Scotland accounts for approximately 13,000 of these, or 24% of the national average per year. Cancer registrations are increasing approximately 10% each year.

The objectives of the North Cancer Alliance are set-out in the infographic below.

The NCA team work closely with healthcare professionals across the six NHS boards to meet these objectives. The alliance provides a mechanism for collective accountability across the North of Scotland and aims to make step changes in earlier diagnosis and radically reduce variation between the boards.         

Across the six boards in the North of Scotland, the NHS employs over 40,000 staff which represents about 25% of the total NHS workforce in Scotland. This excludes central services such as Information Services Division (ISD), NHS 24 and Scottish Ambulance Services which also operate in the North.

There are unique challenges to the delivery of health services in the North due to the large geographical distances and wide population spread. This means that patients often have to travel for cancer care to our main cancer centres in Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness.

Furthermore, in the North, the population is older compared to the Scottish average. There are also some areas of deprivation, particularly on the North coast of NHS Grampian.                                                                                                                                            

The NCA board provides assurance and oversight of cancer services in the North of Scotland, with several sub-groups delivering actions associated with the improvement of patient outcomes. More information on the various groups that comprise the NCA are available on the "NCA Groups" page.

For further information, please use the Contact NCA form available on this website.