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Mesothelioma: new audit published for first time

September 12, 2014: New information from the National Lung Cancer Audit3 about the diagnosis and treatment of patients with mesothelioma (a cancer involving the outer membrane of the lung) has been published for the first time today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Mesothelioma is a relatively rare cancer, most common in older men, and closely associated with exposure to asbestos. Occupations like plumbing, electrical-installation, ship-building and railway-engineering are associated with increased risk of developing the disease.

Today's report, which has been contributed to by a range of organisations2 is based on data for 8,740 patients in England and Wales first treated in secondary care for the disease between 2008 and 2012 inclusive.

Despite this being one of the largest case series ever published in the world, the relatively low number of cases for each area means the data should be interpreted with caution. However, findings suggest wide variation in the approach to diagnosis and treatment. For example looking at Cancer Networks, average intervals between referral to diagnosis varied from 15 to 44 days and proportion of fit patients receiving chemotherapy varied from 61.3 per cent to 19.9 per cent.

You can see the full report pdf icon here. [2Mb]


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 220 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. Several organisations have contributed to the audit, including the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), University of Nottingham, Cancer Information System Cymru (CaNISC), Informing Healthcare, (Wales), Welsh Cancer Intelligence Surveillance Unit (WCISU).

3. About the National Clinical Audit Programme and how it is funded:

This Mesothelioma report is derived from the National Lung Cancer Audit, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit Programme. HQIP is led by a consortium of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Royal College of Nursing and National Voices. Its aim is to promote quality improvement, and in particular to increase the impact that clinical audit has on healthcare quality in England and Wales. HQIP holds the contract to manage and develop the National Clinical Audit Programme, comprising more than 30 clinical audits that cover care provided to people with a wide range of medical, surgical and mental health conditions. The programme is funded by NHS England, the Welsh Government and, with some individual audits, also funded by the Health Department of the Scottish Government, DHSSPS Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.

4. For media enquires please call 0300 3033 888 or email: Please note the change of number for our media line.

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