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Lung cancer patients lack equal access to clinical nurse specialists throughout the UK

A new report from the UK Lung Cancer Coalition says access to lung clinical nurse specialists varies around the UK. 

Patients with lung cancer must get equal access to clinical nurse specialists regardless of where they live in the UK, a new report has said.

The United Kingdom Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) today published the results of its Ten Years On investigation into lung cancer, which kills more people in the UK than any other cancer – more than 35,000 per year.

The report said that the number of patients assigned to a lung clinical nurse specialist (LCNS) has risen from 35% to 84% in ten years in England and Wales.

But the percentage of patients who get to see a LCNS varies in some parts of England, ranging from only 36% of patients in some areas to others where all patients are able to.

The report recommends that no NHS trusts in England should employ fewer than two LCNSs and each one should have a case load of no greater than 100 new patients per year.

Naomi Horne, a member of the clinical advisory group for UKLCC, said: ‘Nurses are over-stretched and under-valued.

‘Currently, the average caseload in England is one nurse to approximately every 200 patients diagnosed. This is too much.’

Lung cancer accounts for nearly a quarter of all UK cancer deaths (22%) and one in seven (13%) of all new UK cancer cases. Despite it being labelled a ‘smoker’s disease’, one in eight people diagnosed have never smoked.

The full report is available here

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