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Have you been invited for a lung health check?

(Published 26 July 2021)

If the answer is yes – local health leaders are asking you not to delay taking up the offer.

An advertising campaign on bus shelters and town centre screens has been launched this week to support wider awareness of the need for people to come forward for a lung health check.

Thurrock, Luton and Bedfordshire areas have been selected for the roll out of the Targeted Lung Health Check Programme.

Thurrock has one of the highest rates of death from lung cancer in the UK and some of the highest rates of smoking with over 10% of the local population labelled as smokers. The programme is one of the first to be rolled out as part the NHS Long Term Plan.

Dr Manjeet Sharma, GP at Orsett Surgery is supporting the programme, she said:

“We were able to start this programme in November 2020, but we have not had the take up we expected.  The programme involves patients who are 55 – 75 and smoke or have ever smoked, being invited to an initial remote lung health check, completed by qualified nurses from NELFT’s Respiratory team. Those patients found to have a high-risk score following that check will be invited to take up the low dose CT scan.

“Patients should be assured that the whole process has been made COVID secure and the brand new facilities will provide first class care.”

A patient who has gone through the programme, Alan Hudson, said,

“I have been through the whole process from receiving my letter, to having my check, then a CT Scan. They found something on my scan, and very quickly I’ve been referred in for further investigations and something has been found and treatment has started. I would never have known I had a problem, so it really proves how effective this is. If you’ve been invited, don’t ignore it, come forward it might just save your life!”

Existing and former smokers aged between 55 and under 75 across Thurrock will be invited in a phased way, to have a free lung health check with a lung specialist at a convenient location close to where they live. If required, they can have a low dose CT scan on the spot.

Only those meeting the criteria will be invited to take part in the programme.  Stop Smoking services are always available and ready to support you in leading a healthier lifestyle and giving up smoking.