Press Release

Minister for Health launches new clinical roadmap on Lung Cancer Management

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, today launched a new National Clinical Effectiveness Guideline  to help healthcare professionals with the identification, staging and treatment of patients with lung cancer.This new guideline was developed by a group led by the Health Service Executive’s (HSE) National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and was quality assured by the Department’s National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC). The guideline is to be implemented in full across the health service.

Cancer is a major healthcare challenge and each year in Ireland, over 20,000 people are diagnosed with invasive cancer. Averaging over 1,800 deaths annually, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both sexes.

Speaking today Minister Harris said “Last July, I was pleased to launch the second national cancer strategy for Ireland. Great progress has occurred under our National Cancer Strategies, with clear evidence-based policy direction from my Department and strong implementation by the HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme. A broad objective of our current Cancer Strategy is to have models of care in place that ensure that patients receive the required care, in a timely fashion, from an expert clinical team in the optimal location”.

“I am pleased to endorse and launch this guideline. I see this as a critical step towards the delivery of consistent, safe, multi-disciplinary evidence-based lung cancer care across the country.  This guideline will help healthcare workers provide care based on the best available evidence. It has been informed by a full public consultation and a review by two international experts.”

The Chair of the Guideline Development Group, Dr Marcus Kennedy said “Lung cancer is the leading cause in cancer death in both men and women in Ireland. Although public health policies may reduce smoking rates in Ireland, the incidence of lung cancer is currently increasing in Ireland in both men and women due to advancing age, better detection and a reflection of historical smoking trends. This guideline, which is the first national guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, sets a standard nationally, to enable healthcare professionals to deliver safe and effective care and treatment while monitoring their individual, team and organisation’s performance.”

The Minister and the Department of Health remain committed to extending and implementing the suite of NCEC National Clinical Guidelines.


Notes to the Editor

The development and implementation of National Clinical Guidelines related to cancer care is underpinned by recommendation 37 in the National Cancer Strategy 2017 – 2026.  This is the fourth guideline from the NCCP to be published as a NCEC National Clinical Guideline.

National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC)
Clinical effectiveness is a key component of patient safety. The integration of best evidence in service provision, through clinical effectiveness processes, promotes healthcare that is up to date, effective and consistent. Clinical effectiveness processes include guidelines, audit and practice guidance.

NCEC Terms of Reference: 

1.        Provide strategic leadership for the national clinical effectiveness agenda.
2.        Contribute to national patient safety and quality improvement agendas.
3.        Publish standards for clinical practice guidance.
4.        Publish guidance for National Clinical Guidelines and National Clinical Audit.
5.        Prioritise and quality assure National Clinical Guidelines and National Clinical Audit.
6.        Commission National Clinical Guidelines and National Clinical Audit.
7.        Align National Clinical Guidelines and National Clinical Audit with implementation levers.
8.        Report periodically on the implementation and impact of National Clinical Guidelines and the performance of National Clinical Audit.
9.        Establish sub-committees for NCEC work-streams.
10.        Publish an Annual Report.
Further information about the NCEC and National Clinical Guidelines is available at
HSE National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP)

The NCCP was established in 2007 to ensure that all elements of cancer policy are delivered to the maximum possible extent. NCCP continues to reorganise cancer services to achieve better outcomes for patients. Cancer control aims to prevent cancer, treat cancer, and increase survival and quality of life for those who develop cancer, by converting the knowledge gained through research, surveillance and outcome evaluation into strategies and actions.Further information about the NCCP is available via the website: