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The Simulacrum is synthetic cancer data which imitates some of the data held securely by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) within NHS Digital. The Simulacrum looks and feels like the real cancer data held within NCRAS, but does not contain any real patient information. Anyone can use it to learn more about cancer in England without compromising patient privacy. Also, because the Simulacrum data model is the same as the real one in NHS Digital, the Simulacrum can be used to write and test queries that (with the right permissions and ethical approval) could be run on the real data.

This Guide to using the Simulacrum and submitting code outlines how external researchers can use the simulated data to gain an understanding of the structure and content of the cancer data held by NCRAS before making data access requests.

The Simulacrum is entirely synthetic data and is available for anyone to use. Because it only approximates the original data, results from the Simulacrum should not be used for clinical decisions.

The underlying tables for the Simulacrum can be found here.

The Simulacrum was developed and built by Health Data Insight (HDI) CIC.