The role of lung cancer nurse specialists
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The role of lung cancer nurse specialists

John White Lead Macmillan lung cancer nurse specialist, St James’s Hospital, National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses

John White assesses the pivotal part experts play in supporting patients from diagnosis to follow up and survivorship, providing them with information and acting as co-ordinators between individuals and multidisciplinary team members

A report published by the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation examines the contribution of lung cancer nurse specialists (LCNSs) to quality patient care at all stages of the disease pathway. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that an LCNS is available at all stages of care, with the UK Lung Cancer Coalition stating that patients should have access to an LCNS for support and advocacy when they need it.

However, growing caseloads, the expectation for all patients to have a holistic needs assessment completed at various points of the pathway, an increasingly complex workload and NHS financial pressures all present potential barriers to the delivery of high quality care for patients. This article examines the complex and varied role of LCNSs. It is important to note that when discussing lung cancer the principles of care also apply to patients with mesothelioma although this disease is not discussed.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 12, 9, 16-22. doi: 10.7748/cnp2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 24 May 2013

Accepted: 11 September 2013

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