Postcode Lottery Of Lung Cancer Care ‘Cannot Continue’

Expert Comments On New Medical Research

13.07.2011

Medical law specialists at Irwin Mitchell have called for the NHS to work quickly to address concerns over suggestions that a postcode lottery has emerged in lung cancer care.

According to a report by The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, more people in the north of England are diagnosed and die from the illness than in the south, with a threefold difference in mortality rates seen in Trusts in Liverpool and Herefordshire.

It also revealed that while surgery rates are low across the country, the chances of seeing a specialist nurse or receiving chemotherapy treat can vary depending on a patient’s location.

Medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell provide advice and support to a number of people who have received substandard hospital care or have been injured as a result of errors in treatment.

Beth Reay, a solicitor who specialises in the area at the firm’s Sheffield office, said it is clear that standards have to be improved.

She explained: “The suggestion that a postcode lottery exists in relation to the treatment of any condition or disease is incredibly concerning, and we have long called for the NHS and other health authorities to take every possible step to ensure that patients are offered consistent and high-quality care regardless of the illnesses they face.

“What is particularly concerning is that the idea standards are better in certain areas may mean patients in other locations are being denied access to treatments which could potentially make a major difference in their battle against an illness.

“We would urge the NHS to take a serious look at the current system it has in place regarding lung cancer and ensure that all of its patients are being given the treatment they need.

“Ultimately, it would be excellent to see standards improved following this report with the best possible care being offered across the board.”