Quality standard

Quality statements

Quality statements

Statement 1 Local authorities and healthcare commissioning groups use coordinated campaigns to raise awareness of the symptoms and signs of lung cancer and encourage people to seek medical advice if they need to. [2012, updated 2019]

Statement 2 Adults with suspected or confirmed lung cancer who smoke receive evidence-based stop smoking support. [new 2019]

Statement 3 Adults with suspected or confirmed lung cancer have access to a named lung cancer clinical nurse specialist. [2012, updated 2019]

Statement 4 Adults with lung cancer being considered for treatment with curative intent have investigations to accurately determine diagnosis and stage, and to assess lung function. [new 2019]

Statement 5 Adults with non-small-cell lung cancer stage I or II and good performance status have treatment with curative intent. [new 2019]

Statement 6 Adults with non-small-cell lung cancer stage III or IV who are having tissue sampling, have samples taken that are suitable for pathological diagnosis and assessment of predictive biomarkers. [2012, updated 2019]

In 2019 this quality standard was updated, and statements prioritised in 2012 were updated [2012, updated 2019] or replaced [new 2019]. For more information, see update information.

Statements from the 2012 quality standard for lung cancer in adults that are still supported by the evidence may still be useful at a local level:

  • People with a chest X-ray result suggesting lung cancer and people aged 40 and over with unexplained haemoptysis are offered an appointment to see a cancer specialist within 2 weeks.

  • People with lung cancer are offered a holistic needs assessment at each key stage of care that informs their care plan and the need for referral to specialist services.

  • People with lung cancer, following initial assessment and computed tomography (CT) scan, are offered investigations that give the most information about diagnosis and staging with the least risk of harm.

  • People with lung cancer are offered assessment for multimodality treatment by a multidisciplinary team comprising all specialist core members.

  • People with non-small-cell lung cancer stage I–III and good performance status who are unable to undergo surgery are assessed for radiotherapy with curative intent by a clinical oncologist specialising in thoracic oncology.

  • People with lung cancer stage I–III who are offered radiotherapy with curative intent receive planned treatment techniques that optimise the dose to the tumour while minimising the risks of normal tissue damage.

  • People with stage IIIB or IV non-small-cell lung cancer are offered systemic therapy in accordance with NICE guidance, that is directed by histology, molecular markers and PD-L1 expression.

  • People with small-cell lung cancer have treatment initiated within 2 weeks of the pathological diagnosis.

  • People with lung cancer are offered a specialist follow-up appointment within 6 weeks of completing initial treatment and regular specialist follow-up thereafter, which can include protocol-led clinical nurse specialist follow-up.

  • People with lung cancer have access to all appropriate palliative interventions delivered by expert clinicians and teams.

The 2012 quality standard for lung cancer in adults is available as a pdf.

NICE has developed guidance and a quality standard on patient experience in adult NHS services (see the NICE Pathway on patient experience in adult NHS services), which should be considered alongside these quality statements.

Other quality standards that should be considered when commissioning or providing lung cancer services include:

A full list of NICE quality standards is available from the quality standards topic library.