More than 19,000 people in North East Lincolnshire are being invited for a free NHS Targeted Lung Health Check, which can identify potential lung problems earlier when they are easier to treat
The checks are open to past and present smokers aged between 55 and 74, who are registered with a local GP, and support the NHS ambition to detect more cancers at an earlier stage.
Eligible people are being contacted in phases and will receive a letter from their GP inviting them to book an appointment. Those first receiving invites are patients from The Roxton Practice Immingham, followed by Open Door and Quayside Medical Centre.
Dr Stuart Baugh, Clinical Director for the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Programme in North East Lincolnshire said: “Lung cancer especially, is often diagnosed at a later stage as there are rarely symptoms early in the illness. The NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme checks those most at risk of developing lung cancer to spot signs of lung and chest problems earlier when treatment can be simpler and more effective.”
Dr Iain Chalmers, Cancer Care Lead for North and North East Lincolnshire and Medical Director at St Andrews Hospice Grimsby added: “Lung Health Checks are going to make a huge difference to so many people. I urge anyone, who receives a letter, to make an appointment. If any problems with your lungs are found early, it could ultimately save your life.”
Anyone invited for a Lung Health Check has an initial 20-minute phone assessment with a specially trained health care professional. This looks at breathing, lifestyle, family, and medical history. If the assessment finds the person to be at high risk, they are offered a low dose CT scan which can detect early signs of lung cancer or lung disease.
CT scans take place in a mobile unit in community locations such as supermarket car parks and sports stadiums, making it easy for people to park and drop in. As the Lung Health Checks will operate in phases, the unit will move around to be convenient and accessible to people in those areas. Details of the locations can be found at www.lunghealthcheck.org.uk as they’re released.
Lung Health Checks are offered at various times during the week, making it as easy and convenient as possible for people to take up the opportunity. The mobile units being in central locations such as shopping centres mean people needing a CT scan can even combine this with their weekly shop, removing the need for any unnecessary journeys too.
During the check, current smokers will also be offered advice to support them to stop smoking should they wish to, and the Lung Health Check team will also be available to answer any questions people might have.
Scan results are analysed by specialist clinicians and participants receive their results in approximately four weeks. If further follow up is needed, participants are referred by the service to their GP or hospital.
Stuart added: “Finding cancers early is essential. From what we’ve seen during the initial pilot phases, such as that in nearby Hull, Lung Health Checks are undoubtedly playing a big part in improving cancer outcomes across the UK.”
For more information on the Targeted Lung Health Check programme please visit www.lunghealthcheck.org.uk