• Led by Dr Ian Woolhouse and Dr Mick Peake of the Royal College of Physicians.
  • Run by the CEEU and the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care, in partnership with the Roy Castle Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Cancer Improvement.
  • Aimed to raise standards of lung cancer care to a consistent level across the UK.
  • Developed local quality improvement plans measurable against key indicators from the National Lung Cancer Audit.

Long-term survival rates for lung cancer patients are generally poor. However there are wide variations in treatment patterns and survival across the UK.

This project sought to raise the standards of all multi-disciplinary teams up to that of the best, to ensure major improvements in survival and quality of life for patients.

It aimed to support teams to deliver local improvements in outcomes for lung cancer, improve patient experience, identify reasons for the variation in survival and contribute to the knowledge base around how best to engage clinicians in quality improvement (QI) activities.

Key findings

The Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) reviews were described by 99% of participants as good or excellent in their ability to identify areas for improvement.

Local QI activity resulted in improvements in a number of areas, including reduced waiting time for chemotherapy, increased access to treatment, quicker patient review by oncologists, greater patient satisfaction with care and better comprehension of their diagnosis.

Challenges

  • Organising a large number of site visits within a fixed time period.
  • Low baseline skills in QI methodology from local project team members.
  • Maintaining engagement of busy clinical teams.
  • Validity of patient experience results when response rates were low.

Who was involved?

The project was run by the Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit (CEEU) of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the National Clinical Audit Support Programme of the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care, working in partnership with the Roy Castle Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Cancer Improvement.

The multidisciplinary team was led by two members of the CEEU: Dr Ian Woolhouse, who was the operational clinical lead for the project, and Dr Mick Peake, who provided clinical advice and linked with a variety of national initiatives.

Further reading