The aim of the programme is to detect lung cancer and disease early so that people can be treated sooner and more effectively – ultimately saving more lives. Lung cancer often has no symptoms in the earlier stages which can result in it not being found until the later stages when outcomes are less favourable.
About Targeted Lung Health Checks in Lancashire and South Cumbria
People who live in Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen aged from 55 to 74, who smoke or used to smoke and are registered with a GP will be offered a new NHS Targeted Lung Health Check.
Run by specialist nurses, Targeted Lung Health Checks aim to find out how well your lungs are working. These are ongoing and people are currently being invited.
How to book your Lung Health Check
When you receive your letter it will tell you the time and date when you will receive a phone call to schedule you lung health check appointment. If this is convenient there is no need for you to take any action, however, if you wish to rearrange the time or date there will be a number to call to enable you to do this. The initial call takes about 10 minutes, during which you will be asked if you would like a lung health check and an appointment will be made for you at a time to suit you.
Benefits of the Lung Health Check
- It is free
- Discuss any concerns about your lung health with a professional
- If you are a current smoker and would like to stop advice and assistance on how to quit are available.
What to expect at a Lung Health Check
Your NHS Lung Health Check will take place over the telephone. They are led by specialist nurses and will last approximately 30 minutes. You’ll be asked some questions about your breathing and overall health. You will have time to talk to the nurse and ask questions.
If you are eligible, you will receive a letter from your GP practice inviting you for an initial Lung Health Check. This will take place over the phone and last around 30 minutes.
At the Lung Health Check, you will be asked some questions about your breathing, overall lung health, lifestyle and family and medical history.
Measurements of your height and weight will be taken.
There are three possible results from your lung health check:
No problems found – the nurse may find nothing further to investigate and you will be discharged from the lung health check programme. We will write to your GP to tell them this.
Referral to your GP – if problem with your breathing or lung health are found, you might be referred to your GP. We will write to your GP so they know about the appointment.
Offered a scan of your lungs - whether you are offered a lung scan will depend on your chance of getting lung cancer now or in the future. We work out your risk from your lifestyle, medical and family history. The nurse will help you to choose whether the test is right for you. We will write to your GP so they know about the appointment.
The lung cancer scan uses a low-dose CT scanner to take a detailed picture of your lungs, to check for the early signs of lung cancer.
The appointment will last approximately 30 minutes and you’ll have a chance to ask the nurse any questions.
If your scan results come back with signs of anything concerning, you’ll be contacted with further information and referred for further tests and treatment.
The lung scan is on a mobile truck and can take place in a variety of locations including your local hospital, supermarket or local community carpark.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Lung Health Check takes part in two stages. The first is an appointment with a specially trained nurse to assess your risk level. If you are found to be at high risk of having lung cancer you will be invited to have a low dose CT scan so we can capture an image of your lungs and identify if there are any issues which need further investigation or treatment.
The first phase will be carried out via phone call. If you are invited to have a CT scan these will be carried out by radiographers on mobile units or at a local hospital. The mobile units will be parked in community venues or supermarket car parks which have good transport links for ease of access.
Should anything be identified either during the discussion with a nurse or from the CT scan, then you will be contacted by telephone or letter with the next steps. If you have any questions you can speak to the staff on site or contact 01530 432341 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm.
The Targeted Lung Health Check is currently being offered to those most at risk of getting lung cancer. Data shows those between the age of 55 and 74 who currently or previously smoked are at a higher risk than others of getting lung cancer. If you display any symptoms or have any concerns about your lung health you should book an appointment to see your GP straight away.
The Targeted Lung Health Checks have started in the area so please wait for the information from your GP.
A CT scan can show a number of lung related problems including cancer. It is important to remember that diseases found through a screening programme are often easier to treat and have better long outcomes.
NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group has been chosen along with nine other CCGs across England to be part of Phase 1 of the NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Targeted Lung Health Check programme. The money for this is coming directly from NHS England and NHS Improvement, so it will not affect the daily running of the NHS locally.
If you smoke, or have done in the past, your chances of getting lung disease are higher than those of someone who has never smoked. Sadly, lung disease is often very advanced before you realise that you have it which makes treatment much more complicated and often less successful. However a CT scan can identify lung disease at a much earlier stage, before you have any symptoms, giving you a chance of treatment which could lead to a full recovery.
You will receive a patient information leaflet with your invitation letter, which will explain the benefits and risks involved with a screening programme and should answer most of your questions.
If you have any further questions about your Lung Health Check appointment, please contact the Lung Health Check team:
By phone on 01530 432341 (Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 6:00pm).