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Lung Cancer: Nurses

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the role of lung cancer clinical nurse specialists in the patient journey and in multi-disciplinary teams. (190039)

In 1998, the Department issued guidance on “Improving Outcomes in Lung Cancer”. The Guidance identified clinical nurse specialists as core members of the lung cancer multi-disciplinary team.

The guidance has since been fully implemented across the national health service.

The most recent round of peer review (2004-07) found that for lung cancer, almost 95 per cent. of multi-disciplinary teams had lung cancer nurse specialist provision at the time of the review.

In February 2005, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published clinical guidelines on the treatment and diagnosis of lung cancer. The guideline recommended that all cancer units/centres should have one or more trained lung cancer nurse specialists.

NHS compliance with NICE clinical guidelines was assessed for the first time as part of the Healthcare Commission’s health checks for 2006-07. Self-assessment by NHS trusts showed that 90 per cent. are making excellent, good or fair progress towards implementing NICE'S clinical guidelines.

The results of this exercise has informed performance management activity by strategic health authorities. Detailed results of the latest 2006-07 exercise can be found on Healthcare Commission’s website at:

The 2007-08 health check will assesses how well the NHS has continued to perform during the financial year from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008. The Healthcare Commission’s website contains information about the health check for 2007-08 at: