Respiratory symptoms awareness campaign: Resources

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Learning and Development Tools

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Public Health England ran a national awareness campaign focusing on the respiratory symptoms of a persistent cough and inappropriate breathlessness from 14 July to 16 October 2016. It encouraged those with relevant symptoms to present to their GP, with the aim of diagnosing more cases of lung cancer, lung and heart disease earlier.

Read the campaign overview briefing sheet

This page features resources and tools for the national respiratory symptoms awareness campaign. You will find briefings and other additional materials for the 2016 campaign, all designed for healthcare professionals and community based partners.

Campaign materials

The briefing sheets below have been designed by the Department of Health. They outline essential information about the respiratory symptoms campaign, with links to useful tools and resources, which can be used to support healthcare professionals during the campaign. Please share these with anyone who may find them useful:

Download campaign overview briefing sheet

Download the carers briefing sheet

Download a print-ready carers briefing sheet

The public-facing leaflet for the campaign gives information on the symptoms of lung diseases such as COPD and lung cancer as well as heart disease. It also highlights how to reduce the risk of developing these conditions.

Download the public-facing leaflet

Accessible formats

Download a large print version of the campaign leaflet

Download an easy read version of the campaign leaflet

View a British Sign Language (BSL) version of the campaign leaflet

Hear an audio version of the campaign leaflet


The public-facing website for the respiratory symptoms campaign is NHS Choices. Several other websites dedicated to Be Clear on Cancer have been created on

Campaign materials such as posters and leaflets are being developed and will be available from the PHE Campaign Resource Centre. To request posters and leaflets visit Campaign Resource Centre (CRC) or call Orderline on: 0300 123 1002.

Quick links to resources:

Additional information

You can find out more about the statistics in your local area using Public Health England's GP Practice Profiles or Cancer e-Atlas.

View Cancer Research UK local cancer stats. Find and compare statistical information and intelligence about cancer in areas across the UK. This tool now includes CCG level data for cancer incidence and mortality. You will also find information on early diagnosis, screening and smoking.

View Public Health England's GP Practice Profiles. Source information about key indicators relating to cancer services for most GP practices in England. These profiles aim to help GP practices consider which services they offer to their patients.

Learn more about lung cancer statistics

Learn more about GP practice and local data

The NICE referral guideline(link is external) for suspected cancer was updated in 2015. Take the opportunity to review the updated recommendations for lung cancer.

Cancer Research UK has produced an interactive desk easel for GPs, which summarises the NG12 guidelines. GPs can access the summary from their computer and click through to the recommendations for each symptom group:

Download the interactive desk easel

Cancer Research UK also developed summaries of the referral guidelines in other various formats:

  • Infographic style: Symptoms are grouped according to organ system, with a key directing you to NICE’s recommendations.
  • Text style: Symptoms are displayed alphabetically, with a key directing you to NICE’s recommendations.
  • Table style: Information is displayed in a table format with recommended pathways displayed along the top of the table.

You can also order physical copies of these poster resources, for free, from the CRUK publications website. For more information please visit the page

The Department of Health published 'Direct access to diagnostic tests for cancer: best practice referral pathways for general practitioners’, which aims to help GPs determine which patients would be suitable for direct referral to local services providing the diagnostic tests.

It deals specifically with the circumstances and symptoms that may warrant such referrals and is aimed at healthcare professionals across primary and secondary care and those who both provide and commission services.

You can order or download a leaflet that explains Urgent Referrals from Cancer Research UK. These can be used to help patients who have been urgently referred with suspected cancer.

The BMJ learning module 'suspected lung cancer: when you should refer', developed in association with NICE, aims to help you to:

  • be familiar with the typical presenting features of lung cancer;
  • identify unusual presentations of lung cancer; and
  • know when to refer patients with suspected lung cancer. Why not take a look and earn an extra CPD credit

A toolkit developed by Lancashire & South Cumbria Cancer Network. It’s free to access and has a dedicated section on lung cancer.

Links to TV adverts coming soon.

We have created a list with a range of studies that look at the latest evidence for lung cancer, COPD and heart disease. This is not an exhaustive list, but highlighted are some recent findings from research into lung and heart disease. You may find these useful for understanding more about the disease areas that the respiratory symptoms campaign is focusing on. 

Please follow the link for more information

Be Clear on Cancer statement

Be Clear on Cancer  is a cancer awareness campaign led by Public Health England, working in partnership with the Department of Health and NHS England. This page contains links to documents that we hope you find useful. Please note however that the views or opinions expressed within those links are not necessarily those of Cancer Research UK.

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