Lung Cancer

Around 48,000 patients are diagnosed with lung cancer each year in the UK. As the symptoms appear similar to a number of other common respiratory infections, many of cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage of disease and there are around 35,000 deaths each year from lung cancer, making it the most common cause of cancer death annually.

The GIRFT report makes 33 recommendations to address variations in care, by reinforcing the multidisciplinary (MDT) workforce, improving partnership working (particularly at system-level), and improving data and information processes. There is also a clear recommendation for tightening up organisational accountability in lung cancer services.

Specific recommendations include improving access to rapid and precise diagnostics for early detection and delivering more specialist curative-intent/radical treatment and prevention schemes, such as reducing harm from tobacco smoke.

Dr Paul Beckett

Clinical Lead for Lung Cancer

Paul is a consultant respiratory physician at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton. He has been a clinical lead for the National Lung Cancer Audit for more than 10 years, and through this has published a number of research papers on lung cancer epidemiology.

He has served as a member of the British Thoracic Oncology Group steering group and as chair of the British Thoracic Society Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Specialist Advisory Group. He is a member of the Royal College of Physicians Quality Improvement Faculty, combining both theoretical and practical experience in delivering service improvement.

Dr Elizabeth Toy

Clinical Lead for Lung Cancer

Liz is a consultant clinical oncologist based at the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

Her primary clinical interests are in patients with lung and upper gastrointestinal cancers. Following oncology training in Wales and Vancouver she was appointed to the Exeter Oncology Centre in 2001.

Currently she serves on the National Lung Cancer Expert Reference Group and has previously been a member of the Chemotherapy Clinical Reference Group.

Dr Sarah Doffman

Former clinical lead and report author

Sarah was appointed as a respiratory physician at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals in 2008, leading the lung cancer service until 2016 and serving as Chair of Sussex Cancer Network Lung Tumour group from 2010-2013. Between 2014 and 2019, she held a number of senior leadership roles, including clinical director and subsequently chief of service for medicine. She has now left the GIRFT programme.

Victoria Anderson (L) and Monica Hugh (R)

Specialist nurses supporting GIRFT’s national review into services for lung cancer patients.

Victoria Anderson has worked as a lung cancer nurse specialist at the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for over seven years.

Monica Hugh, lung cancer nurse specialist at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, has been a lung cancer nurse for over eight years.

Measures in GIRFT report aim to ensure faster diagnoses and more effective treatment for patients with lung cancer

A new national report from the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme highlights measures that will help prolong the lives of more lung cancer patients in England.

While five-year survival rates are steadily improving, outcomes for lung cancer in the UK still lag behind those in other comparable countries; currently there are only 16% of people with the disease that live more than five-years from the date of their first diagnosis.

In addition, the GIRFT report outlines how multidisciplinary working can be improved to be as timely, efficient and effective as possible. The recommendations are endorsed by five leading professional societies and colleges: Lung Cancer Nursing UK, the British Thoracic Society, the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery, the British Thoracic Oncology Group and the Royal College of Physicians.  

Find out more about GIRFT’s data-led approach and best practice resources:

In April 2022, GIRFT published its national speciality report for Lung Cancer:

Click above to view the pdf report

Watch the video about the Lung Cancer report…

Click above to play the Lung Cancer national report video

Lung Cancer Academy Resources