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P94 Capturing the experiences of lung cancer patients living in coastal communities traveling to access treatment
  1. Rebecca Price,
  2. Charlotte Kelly,
  3. Una Macleod
  1. Transform, Hull York Medical School, Hull, UK


Background The 2021 Chief Medical officer report highlighted that coastal communities in England were bearing a significant health burden, but availability of data on these inequalities was limited. Cancer was identified to have higher prevalence (an excess of 6.39%) compared to non-coastal areas) indicating a ‘coastal effect’.

The development of specialist cancer centres in mainly large urban areas has created a requirement for some cancer patients to travel further for treatment. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of lung cancer patients accessing treatment from a coastal areas.

Methods We focused on lung cancer patients living in the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board region. This region has a higher lung cancer diagnosis rate than the national average. We defined coastal areas as Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) within 5 km distance from the coastline. We calculated travel times to the nearest specialist cancer hospital using mapping software. We are interviewing 15 lung cancer patients living on the coast to explore any barriers and facilitators to accessing lung cancer services and support. The interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results Twenty-three percent of the population lived within 5 km of the coastline. A two-sample t-test identified a significant difference between non-coastal travel times to the nearest specialist cancer centre (Mean=28.8 mins, SD =13.2) and coastal (Mean= 36.6, SD = 14.5); t (1055) =-7.87, p =0.0000. On average travel distances were 10 km longer from the coastal locations. Preliminary findings from the interviews has identified lung cancer patients experiencing long days and waiting times. They often find the travel experience of driving or having a family or friend drive them add additional stress to their appointments. Not all patients were referred to the ‘nearest ‘ hospital leading to travel time in excess of 2 hours. Findings up to now indicate that this increased journey impacts on quality of life.

Conclusion Lung cancer patients from coastal areas have to travel on average further to attend appointments at specialist cancer centres. This increased travel time is being explored through qualitative interviews to understand how this affects experiences of care and access to services.

  • Coastal
  • lung cancer
  • access

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