UK lung cancer treatment trails behind Europe

Lung cancer treatment in the UK trails behind that in other western European countries, a report has concluded.

The Royal College of Physicians and the NHS Information Centre reviewed cancer care in hospitals in the UK and compared it with treatment in other European countries.

The UK’s top-performing trusts deliver treatment comparable with the best available elsewhere. But, in general, care and outcomes are below those reported for other western European countries, the report concluded.

In addition, although, overall quality of care has improved, some hospitals are still failing to achieve acceptable standards of practice, the report found. Failings were identified in key aspects of care, including diagnosis and treatment.

NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: ‘While there have been overall improvements in care since the previous audit in 2006, there’s still a wide variation between hospitals which cannot be explained on the basis of differing patient profiles alone.

‘Trusts need to look carefully at the areas where their performance varies with national averages and expected levels of attainment and address the underlying causes.’

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