Achieving improvements in lung cancer survival means shaping health policy to make sure that lung cancer – and the needs of lung cancer patients – is at its heart. Below you can find out more about the UKLCC’s current projects.
UKLCC develops toolkits for MPs to support improvements in the local lung cancer services
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK, with over 41,000 new cases diagnosed in 2009 alone, and it remains the most common cause of cancer death in the UK with almost 35,000 deaths from lung cancer in 20101.
Despite positive steps to improve cancer services, outcomes for lung cancer patients living in the UK are still worse than in comparable countries2. For example, only around a third of lung cancer patients will be alive one year after they are diagnosed with the disease, falling to less than ten per cent five years after diagnosis3.
At a time when the NHS is adapting to significant structural reforms, the UK Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) is calling on national policy-makers and local NHS organisations to remain focused on improving the quality of care available to lung cancer patients. Data from national surveys have revealed clear variations in the quality of lung cancer services across England. Specifically, performance currently falls short in the following areas:
- The quality of written information available to lung cancer patients about their condition
- How effectively hospital and community staff work together to deliver care
- The availability of specialists nurses
- The provision of a personalised written care plan
Lung cancer commissioning guide
The current NHS reforms present a range of opportunities and challenges for those involved in the planning and the delivery of lung cancer services. In recognition of this, the United Kingdom Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) has compiled a commissioning guide which highlights some of the key resources available for local commissioners when designing lung cancer services.
These changes will see clinical commissioning groups assume responsibility for planning and purchasing local health services from primary care trusts, and health and wellbeing boards becoming involved in assessing the health needs of local populations. This guide is intended to signpost these new bodies to key information and tools to enable them to commission high quality lung cancer services. These resources include:
- National Lung Cancer Audit which assesses the performance of local lung cancer services and enables areas for improvement to be identified
- Cancer Commissioning Toolkit developed by the National Cancer Intelligence Network
- Lung Cancer Quality Standard produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) which sets out key markers of high quality lung cancer care to inform the work of commissioners, providers and healthcare professionals, and provide clear information to patients about the kind of care and support they should expect to receive
We hope that this guide is a useful addition to the support available to commissioners and will help to ensure that the health reforms deliver better outcomes for lung cancer patients.
The ‘Dream MDT’ for lung cancer
Supporting high quality commissioning for lung cancer
The way in which lung cancer services in England are commissioned is changing. The UKLCC is therefore developing a ‘Lung Cancer Commissioning Guide’ for commissioners.
This guide will provide new commissioners in clinical commissioning groups and health and wellbeing boards with data and information to support them in commissioning high quality lung cancer services. The Guide will describe how various aspects of the new health landscape should work for lung cancer and provide case studies of best practice that can be built upon.
Effective commissioning requires clinicians and commissioners to work in partnership. From speaking to the clinicians we work with, we have found that they are keen to contribute their expertise to the development of lung cancer services, but may not know who they should be speaking to or how best to make their case.
The UKLCC therefore developed a suite of localised toolkits to provide the tools that clinicians need to engage with commissioners. These include contact details for the local commissioner responsible for lung cancer services, statistics on lung cancer services in their area and how they compare to the national picture and advice on how to make a persuasive case to their commissioner.
The commissioning toolkits for clinicians can be downloaded here.
Helping MPs campaign on lung cancer issues
The UKLCC works with parliamentarians across all parties to keep lung cancer issues on the health agenda. By raising questions in parliament, and regularly briefing politicians on the latest challenges and successes in tackling lung cancer, we keep the disease under close political scrutiny and front of mind for policymakers.
To help parliamentarians to campaign, the UKLCC produced a series of localised toolkits, setting out facts and statistics about their area.
The campaigning toolkits for MPs can be downloaded here