Lung cancer patients can now check they are getting the best care available after the launch of a new interactive online map.
Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation (RCLCF) announced the launch today of its Lung Cancer Smart Map, which shows patients how treatment in their area compares against government targets.
Dr Jesme Fox, Medical Director at the RCLCF said: "There may be many reasons why some areas aren't meeting national standards but the point of this map is to give patients the power to ask why.
"We hope that the Smart Map will encourage patients to work with their doctors in making sure they get the best care available."
Dr Michael Peake, Clinical Lead for the National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA), said: "The Lung Cancer Smart Map is a great way to make our data on the quality and outcomes of lung cancer services across the UK easily available and easily understandable to the general public. Patients and their families have a right to know what information is 'out there' on the hospitals in which they might be treated and this map is an excellent example of how that can be achieved."
Public health minister Anna Soubry said: "This interactive cancer map is a great source of information which empowers lung cancer patients to make better informed choices about the care and treatment they receive.
"I'd like to commend the Foundation's commitment to diagnosing lung cancer earlier and identifying the best treatments available in order to save as many lives as possible."
Please click on the following link to view the map
The Smart Map includes the latest regional data from a range of measures recorded in the NLCA. It compares local real-world hospital data to the nationally recommended standards of care. Hospitals have made consistent progress in treating lung cancer since the NLCA audit began in 2004 but there is still significant room for improvement and it's hoped that sharing this information will accelerate future positive change.
It is hoped that the Smart Map can also encourage improvements in timely referral from primary care. It includes local data from the National Cancer Intelligence Network's (NCIN) "Routes to Diagnosis" study which showed that lung cancer patients who are diagnosed via a managed referral rather than an emergency admission have improved outcomes.
The development of the map was supported by Roche Products Ltd.
About the National Lung Cancer Audit
The National Lung Cancer Audit is the most comprehensive review of lung cancer services that has been undertaken in the UK. The latest published audit used data collected on 38,528 patients first seen in 2011 in Great Britain, representing approximately 93% of the expected number of new lung cancer cases. This is thought to represent almost all cases of lung cancer presenting to hospital.
The audit, which began eight years ago, has helped drive improvements in care by providing hospital trusts with vital information about their performance and how they compare to others. The audit is managed by The NHS Information Centre in partnership with the Royal College of Physicians and is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership.
About NCIN Routes to Diagnosis Study
The NCIN Routes to Diagnosis study examined the sequence of events leading to every cancer diagnosis made in England between 2006 and 2008. The total number of lung cancer cases evaluated in this study over the three year period equates to 96,735. In the RCLCF Smart Map, lung cancer specific data from the study is grouped to show the percentage of diagnoses made via 'managed', 'emergency presentation' and 'other' routes. The 'managed' route encompasses patients who presented through the two week wait, GP referral, plus other outpatient and inpatient elective routes.
About Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is Britain's biggest cancer killer with approximately 41,500 new cases diagnosed each year. Of these patients, about 30% will survive a year and only about 8% will survive five years., Lung cancer kills almost 4,000 more women every year than breast cancer and accounts for more male cancer deaths than prostate, pancreatic and stomach cancer combined.