Respiratory symptoms awareness campaign: Resources

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Be Clear on Cancer logo for lung cancer campaign

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Public Health England will be running a national Be Clear on Cancer awareness campaign focusing on the respiratory symptoms of a persistent cough and inappropriate breathlessness from 18 May to 31 August 2017. It encourages 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 has been developed for healthcare professionals and community-based partners. It features resources, tools and links to further information for the national respiratory symptoms awareness campaign. 

Campaign materials

The overview briefing sheet provides essential information about the respiratory symptoms campaign. Please share this with anyone who may find it useful.

Download the campaign overview briefing sheet

A briefing sheet for those who look after or care for people over 50 years old is also in development and will be available on this website soon. For pharmacy briefings, please visit the PHE Campaign Resource Centre.

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


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The public-facing website for the respiratory symptoms campaign is NHS Choices.

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

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 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.

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.

Learn more about lung cancer statistics

Learn more about GP practice and local data

The NICE referral guideline for suspected cancer was updated in 2015. 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

NICE guidelines for cardiovascular and respiratory conditions are also available.

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.

The Accelerate, Coordinate, Evaluate (ACE) Programme is an early diagnosis initiative focused on testing innovations that either identify individuals at high risk of cancer earlier, or streamline diagnostic pathways. It was set-up to accelerate the pace of change in this area by adding to the knowledge base and is delivered with support from: NHS England, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support; with support on evaluation provided by the Department of Health’s Policy Research Units (PRUs).

Learnings from this programme of work on the lung cancer pathway are now available, and can be found here

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


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We have created a list with a range of studies that look at the 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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