MCIP Pilot quadruples lung cancer early diagnosis rates


Manchester’s Lung Health Check pilot, which quadrupled lung cancer early diagnosis rates is to be expanded to benefit thousands more people at high risk in the north of the city.

The targeted screening pilot offered on-the-spot CT scans in shopping area car parks.  Following its success Manchester Health and Care Commissioning has agreed to provide £4 million of NHS funding to roll out the service in North Manchester.  North Manchester was chosen because it has the highest number of lung cancer deaths among the under-75s in England.

The announcement was made today (Sept 29) at a symposium of leading UK lung clinicians in Manchester.  (Curing Lung Cancer –A Paradigm Shift at Manchester Airport Radisson Blu Hotel)

The pilot, which was carried out with 14 GP practices in Manchester areas of Harpurhey, Wythenshawe and Gorton is just completing its 12-month recall scans.

Headline results from the first round of scanning in the pilot service are:

  • The pilot quadrupled the rate of early diagnosis for lung cancer compared to Manchester’s previous diagnosis figures.
  • 8 out of 10 cancers were found at stages 1 and 2; 1 in 10 had advanced lung cancer (stage 4).
  • 9 out every 10 people with lung cancer were offered potentially curative treatment


Eighty per cent of lung cancers diagnosed during the pilot were discovered at the more curable ‘stage one and two’ as opposed to less than 20 per cent of patients diagnosed through usual pathways after reporting symptoms.

The pilot was funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and the Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups through the Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership (MCIP). It was devised and implemented by University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM) and MCIP in partnership with GPs, Manchester City Council, Macmillan and Manchester Health and Carel Commissioning

More than 2500 people with a smoking history underwent the checks, with about half being offered an immediate CT scan which led to 46 cancers being discovered in 42 people – that’s one lung cancer diagnosis on every scanning day of the project

Other respiratory conditions such as possible COPD  (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and indications of heart disease were found needing further investigation and enabling earlier treatments.

The first patient invitation letters to the lung health checks are expected to go out around spring 2018.   It’s not clear how many people aged 50-80 have ever smoked in North Manchester but the team thinks there’s around 20,000 people eligible for these lung health checks.


Ian Williamson – Chief Accountable Officer, Manchester Health and Care Commissioning said: “We are committed to reducing the unacceptable number of deaths in North Manchester from lung cancer.


“The success of the MCIP Lung Health Checks pilot clearly showed that here in Manchester we have developed a risk-stratified screening model that can detect lung cancer and other conditions earlier and can have an immediate impact on saving lives.


“We are very pleased to be in a position to take this forward and enable thousands more people in North Manchester to benefit from Lung Health Checks.”


Dr Phil Barber, Consultant Respiratory Physician to the University Hospital of South Manchester and MCIP Clinical Lung Lead said: “It was often assumed that people living in more deprived areas like those chosen for this pilot do not usually take up screening opportunities but we demonstrated that this is not the case, and that many people were keen to attend – and as a result were diagnosed early.

Dr Richard Booton, Consultant Respiratory Physician to the University Hospital of South Manchester and clinal lead for the North Mnachester expansion said: “This is excellent news for North Manchester and marks the beginning of a scale-up of the successful Lung Health Checks, which our teams have been working towards for a number of years. We are confident that a scaled-up version of the pilot will help us detect many more lung cancers early and save more lives.”

Lung Health Check patient, Michael Brady, who was diagnosed with stage one lung cancer after attending the LHC pilot in Harpurhey said: “They didn’t hang about did they? I think it’s great that they’ve decided to let other people have this opportunity so quickly after the results have come in. It’s an absolute no-brainer.”

Watch Michael’s film here:

David Regan, Director of Public Health, Manchester City Council said: “The Lung Health Checks are a gamechanger for outcomes in Manchester. We have high levels of deprivation and smoking that contribute significantly to our very high lung cancer rates.

“This pilot engaged the most affected communities and offered new hope to many local people.”

Denis Colligan, GP and Chair of MCIP Board said: “As a local North Manchester GP whose practice took part in the pilot, I know first-hand the benefit the pilot service made to my patientsIt’s great that more people will now have their lives changed by this simple check-up.  We expect the first patients to be invited for this check-up in 2018.”

Janet Tonge, MCIP Programme Director said: “It was an emotional day in our team when the first lung cancers were found we knew that finding lung cancers at an early stage would allow many more people to be offered potentially curative treatment.   The decision to expand the service means that 20,000 people in north Manchester who are at risk of lung cancer will be invited to have their lung checked. If you get your invite, please don’t miss out!”

MCIP is sharing learning nationally on the pilot through the NHS England ACE Programme Wave 1 “Proactive lung cluster” with other clinical teams across the UK at the ‘Curing Lung Cancer –A Paradigm Shift’ conference being held today.