A flagship NHS lung cancer screening initiative using InfoFlex software has delivered promising early results in Kent and Medway.   

As part of the NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks (TLHC) programme, Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance invited people aged 55 to 75 with a history of smoking for a free lung check.   

The Alliance needed to proactively identify those most at risk of developing lung cancer. This was achieved by using relevant patient data from GP practices and InfoFlex, a software solution that delivers a single view of patient information developed by Civica   

Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer. More than 43,000 people are diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK. There are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer. 

InfoFlex has been the longstanding cancer information system at Kent and Medway for 20 years and has been progressively adapted to fit in with ever-changing national and local priorities in cancer care. As the InfoFlex infrastructure was already in place, it was quick and simple to implement the new TLHC module. 

Ian Vousden, programme director, Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance said: “This pilot with Civica is vital so that we can use smart technology to pick up early cancer cases and improve health outcomes for people in our community. After only operating for a few weeks, the TLHC service has picked up its first patient with stage 1 lung cancer. It means that they will now go for early treatment and have a very good chance of a positive outcome.”  

Civica divisional managing director (clinical information management) Nathan Gasco added: “Health technology is making a real difference to people’s lives and this early screening is vital for finding undetected cancer cases in the community. As a long-standing digital partner at Kent and Medway, we’re delighted that we could move so quickly via our flexible platform, to support early diagnosis and highlight those in need of treatment.”  

TLHC is an NHS initiative, inviting all smokers to a screening to detect lung cancer in its early stages. GP practices provided data files of their relevant patients to be uploaded into InfoFlex to enter the screening process.  

The TLHC programme is currently working with 10 projects, including Kent and Medway, but the intention is to expand to other Integrated Care Boards across England to deliver the programme, covering all areas of England from 2024 onwards.