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Lung Health Checks

Lung health check unit

An NHS service offering potentially life-saving lung health checks has launched in East Riding of Yorkshire

By Announcements, Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Lung Health Checks

Around 350 past and current smokers in the Withernsea area have become the first people in the East Riding of Yorkshire to take up the offer of a free NHS Lung Health Check.

lung health check unit

Mobile lung health check unit

A lung health check can help to identify lung cancer and other respiratory diseases early, often before symptoms have occurred and when treatment could be simpler and more successful.

Current and former smokers, aged between 55 and 74, who are registered with Holderness Health or Eastgate Medical Group and live in Withernsea, Grimston, Welwick, Albrough, Fitling, Skeffling, Hilston, Easington, Ottringham, Roos, Winestead, Kilnsea, Flinton, Patrington, Patrington Haven, Weeton, Owstwick, Sunk Island, Tunstall, or Holmpton, are being invited to book a telephone assessment with a respiratory nurse.

Following the assessment, some participants will be invited for a low dose CT scan onboard a high-tech mobile unit, which arrived at Withernsea Leisure Centre on Wednesday, 8th November 2023.

It is expected that 40,000 eligible participants living in the East Riding of Yorkshire will be invited for a lung health check as the mobile unit moves around the region in phases.

Dr Tami Byass, a GP at Eastgate Medical Group in Hornsea, said: “I welcome the news of lung health checks starting to invite eligible patients in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

“Lung cancer can often be difficult to detect in its earliest stages, as there are less noticeable symptoms until stages three or four, so I would urge anyone invited to take up the opportunity of a free lung health check – even if you feel fine.

“If you are worried about symptoms of cancer, such as a cough for three weeks or more, please contact your GP as opposed to waiting for a lung health check invitation.”

Dr Kanwal Tariq, Consultant in Chest Medicine at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Anyone invited for a CT scan as part of their lung health check can be assured that it is a quick and painless procedure, which can help us spot any potential issues early.

Withernsea Leisure Centre

Participants will be invited for a low dose CT scan onboard a mobile unit, at Withernsea Leisure Centre

“Early detection of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases can make a world of difference in the effectiveness of treatment. The lung health checks could be a lifeline for some people.”

Dr Stuart Baugh, Programme Director for NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks in Humber and North Yorkshire, said: “This service is a vital step towards better outcomes for people at highest risk of respiratory diseases. Not only does it help to provide most people with reassurance that their lungs are currently healthy, but it also supports people to stop smoking, if they wish to do so.

“Quitting smoking is the best way to prevent lung cancer and referrals to stop smoking services by the lung health check service has already provided many people with the support needed to quit.

“The NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme was first launched in Hull in January 2020, and then in North East Lincolnshire in January 2023. Around 17,500 telephone assessments have been carried out so far, and we look forward to seeing even more people benefit from the service as eligible participants in the East Riding of Yorkshire take up their invitations. It is expected that the service will be available in all parts of Humber and North Yorkshire by 2028/29.”

Find out more about lung health checks in East Yorkshire at www.lunghealthcheck.org.uk.

Woman stood in between giant inflatable lungs

Why you might spot a giant pair of inflatable lungs at St Stephen’s shopping centre in Hull today

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Lung Health Checks

To mark the start of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance has joined forces with Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and NHS England to bring a Let’s Talk Lung Cancer roadshow to Hull.

Woman stood in between giant inflatable lungs

Giant inflatable lungs that will be in St Stephen’s

On Wednesday, 1st November 2023, a giant pair of inflatable lungs will arrive at St Stephen’s shopping centre to raise awareness of lung cancer symptoms and start much-need conversations around the disease.

The event comes after a recent survey of over 2,000 adults in England found that just two in five respondents (41%) would visit their GP if they had a cough for three weeks or more, which could be a sign of lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Humber and North Yorkshire and the roadshow aims to improve local understanding and awareness of the disease. People visiting the roadshow will be able to learn about the potential symptoms and risk factors beyond smoking, as well as how to improve their general lung health and reduce their risk of the disease.

Dr Dan Cottingham, Cancer Research UK GP Lead for Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, said: “It is great to welcome the Let’s Talk Cancer roadshow to Hull as it starts a tour across the country.

“People diagnosed with lung cancer at the earliest stage are nearly 20 times more likely to survive for five years than those whose cancer is caught late, so it is important to ensure people know what signs to look out for and to encourage anyone experiencing symptoms of lung cancer to contact their GP without delay.

“The main symptoms of lung cancer include a cough that doesn’t go away after three weeks, chest infections that keep coming back, coughing up blood, an ache or pain when breathing or coughing, persistent breathlessness, persistent tiredness or lack of energy and/or loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.

“This new roadshow comes alongside the continued roll out of NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks across Humber and North Yorkshire. The service, which is currently operating in Hull and parts of North East Lincolnshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire, will be available in all areas of Humber and North Yorkshire in the coming years.

“A lung health check can help to identify lung cancer and other respiratory diseases early, often before symptoms have occurred and when treatment could be simpler and more successful. I would urge anyone invited to take up the opportunity of a free lung health check – even if you feel fine.”

Chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Paula Chadwick, said: “It is staggering that half of those surveyed still do not know how prevalent lung cancer is. We believe this stems from a reluctance to talk about lung cancer, and that is largely because of its links to smoking and associated stigma.

Giant inflatable lungs and a table

Anyone wanting to know more about lung cancer is urged to speak to the team

“That’s why these events are so important. They give us the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations which people who may not realise they are at risk, who may not recognise potential symptoms or may feel unable to act on them, or too fearful to.

“If we can help one person in Hull get diagnosed earlier when lung cancer can often be treated with curative intent, then that is worth doing.”

The Let’s Talk Lung Cancer roadshow will be at St Stephen’s shopping centre in Hull on Wednesday, 1st November 2023 between 10am and 4pm. Anyone wanting to know more about lung cancer is urged to go down and speak to the team.

Lung health check mobile unit and staff posing in front of it

Blog: Chair of Humber and North Yorkshire ICB, Sue Symington visits Lung Health Check mobile unit

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Blog, Lung Health Checks

Earlier this month, I embarked on a unique journey to Tesco on Market Street in Grimsby. My destination was not the grocery store’s shelves, but rather a cutting-edge medical facility – the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check mobile unit.

This mobile marvel plays a pivotal role in the early detection of lung cancer and other respiratory conditions. In this blog post, I’ll take you behind the scenes of my visit and explore the valuable service it provides to this North East Lincolnshire community.

The NHS Targeted Lung Health Check mobile unit is part of a new initiative that first took flight in Hull back in 2020. The programme aims to spread awareness and facilitate early diagnosis of lung-related ailments by touring various regions in Humber and North Yorkshire. Recently, it arrived in Grimsby, extending its services to eligible residents living in this coastal town.

The initiative primarily targets current and former smokers aged between 55 to 74 who are registered with a Grimsby GP practice. These individuals are now receiving personalised invitations in the mail, inviting them to participate.

For those who are invited, their journey begins with a simple yet essential step – an appointment for a telephone assessment with a respiratory nurse. This preliminary assessment helps determine the participant’s risk factors and eligibility for further testing.

The next step for some participants involves an invitation to visit the mobile unit which is equipped with a state-of-the-art low-dose CT scanner. This cutting-edge technology allows for the detection of lung conditions in their early stages, greatly improving treatment outcomes.

Lung Health Check mobile unit in Grimsby

(left to right) Becky Wood, Stuart Watson, Dr Stuart Baugh, Sue Symington, Chukuemeka Egbunony

During my visit, I was warmly welcomed by Dr Stuart Baugh, the Programme Director for NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks in Humber and North Yorkshire, along with Stuart Watson, Non-Executive Director for Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership. Together with Chukuemeka Egbunony, a Radiographer, and Becky Wood, a Lung Health Check Nurse, they provided me with an informative and engaging tour of the mobile unit.

My tour was an eye-opening experience; I had the chance to witness the state-of-the-art technology and meet the dedicated healthcare professionals behind this essential service. The tour wasn’t just about showcasing the machinery, it was also an opportunity to ask questions and gain a deeper understanding of how the programme contributes to the health and well-being of Grimsby residents.

The visit shed light on an invaluable service that’s making a significant difference in the early detection of lung conditions. With its innovative approach and dedicated team of healthcare professionals, this initiative is providing residents of Grimsby and surrounding areas with the tools they need to safeguard their lung health.

As the mobile unit continues its journey through Humber and North Yorkshire, it’s clear that it’s not just a van with medical equipment – it’s a symbol of progress and hope for healthier lives.

So, if you’re eligible and receive an invitation in the mail, consider taking that first step toward better lung health. You might just find yourself on a remarkable journey, much like my own, into the heart of healthcare innovation.

Find out more about lung health checks in Humber and North Yorkshire.

NHS Lung Health Check service now available to eligible people in Grimsby

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Lung Health Checks

An NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Service, which is helping to save lives through earlier diagnosis of lung cancer and other conditions, is now being offered to eligible participants living in Grimsby.

Over the next few months, people living in Grimsby who are former or current smokers, aged from 55 to 74, and registered with a Grimsby GP practice will receive a letter inviting them to make an appointment for a Lung Health Check telephone assessment with a specially trained nurse.

The telephone assessment covers aspects such as lifestyle, family history and any breathing issues. Following this, some participants may be offered a low dose CT scan which is set to be located at Tesco on Market Street, in Grimsby.

Lung Health Checks are being delivered in phases across North East Lincolnshire and over 600 people living in Immingham have already benefited from the service since it first launched in the area in March 2023.

To find out more about the Lung Health Checks in North East Lincolnshire visit www.lunghealthcheck.org.uk.

Cancer Alliance welcomes lung screening announcement

By Announcements, Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Lung Health Checks

Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance welcomes the Department of Health and Social Care announcement (Monday, 26th June 2023) that a national targeted lung cancer screening programme will be introduced in the coming years, following the successful delivery of the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Programme in some parts of the country in recent years.

In Humber and North Yorkshire, the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Programme has already been established in Hull (early 2020) and North East Lincolnshire (early 2023). There are plans to introduce the service in North Lincolnshire in early 2024 and it is expected that the service will be available in all parts of our region by 2028/29.

Lung cancer prevention is one of the Cancer Alliance’s top priorities – as we have several areas in our region where smoking prevalence is well above the national average. Early detection of lung cancer is key – because often lung cancer is symptomless until it is at an advanced stage.

Click here to view the Department for Health and Social Care’s announcement.

Nurse putting patient into CT Scanner for Lung Check

Most deprived communities more likely to receive early lung cancer diagnosis thanks to NHS trucks

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Lung Health Checks, National Campaigns

People in deprived areas are now more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer at an earlier stage, thanks to the success of NHS lung trucks.

For the first time ever, new data shows more than a third of people diagnosed with lung cancer from the most deprived fifth of England were diagnosed at stage one or two in 2022 (34.5%) – up from 30% in 2019.

Lung MOTs, located in mobile trucks in supermarket carparks, launched in 2018 in areas of the country with the lowest lung cancer survival rates – and they have already made an impact on earlier diagnoses.

As part of the biggest programme to improve earlier cancer detection in health history, the NHS has now teamed up with the Roy Castle Lung Foundation on a new campaign encouraging the hundreds of thousands of people who are invited each month to take up the potentially lifesaving scan.

The campaign will be running over the coming months across social media, through online advertising and on posters in areas where lung checks are operating.

More than 300,000 (313,387) people have already taken up the offer and the trucks have diagnosed more than 1,750 (1,779) people with lung cancer. Over three-quarters (76%) were caught at stage one or two, compared with just a third caught at early stages in 2018.

People diagnosed with lung cancer at the earliest stage are nearly 20 times more likely to survive for five years than those whose cancer is caught late.

Now at 43 sites across the country, the mobile trucks scan those most at risk from lung cancer, including current and ex-smokers, inviting them for an on-the-spot chest scan for those at the highest risk. Advice to help people stop smoking is also provided to those who attend.

Cancer survival is at an all-time high in England and the latest data shows the NHS is diagnosing more patients with cancer at an earlier stage than ever before, when it is easier to treat – over 100,000 (104,012) patients were diagnosed with cancer at stages one or two when it is easier to treat – the highest proportion on record.

National Director for Cancer, Dame Cally Palmer, said: “These findings are incredibly important – they show the power behind targeted health programmes with the NHS continuing its drive to detect cancers earlier by going into the heart of communities that may be less likely to come forward.

“While early diagnosis rates for cancer have traditionally been lower for deprived groups, thanks to the rollout of lung trucks, the NHS has turned a huge corner – and is now finding and treating those who would otherwise have been undetected.

“The NHS will not stop in its efforts to go out and find more cancers at an earlier point, when easier to treat, so if you have had an invite, please take it up, and as ever, if you are showing any signs of cancer, please come forward to your GP – getting checked could save your life”.

Health Minister Helen Whately said: “Catching lung cancer early saves lives, which is why we’re prioritising early diagnosis for those most at risk.

“These figures show how care closer to home for 300,000 people, using NHS lung trucks, has potentially saved over 1,750 lives.

“We’re laser-focused on fighting cancer on all fronts – prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, backed up with funding and research – and alongside these mobile trucks we have also opened 100 community diagnostic centres, which have delivered over 3.6 million additional tests, checks and scans, including lung checks”.

Chief Executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Paula Chadwick, said: “It is truly heartening to see the wonderful progress being made in the early detection of lung cancer because of the targeted lung health check programme and these checks are allowing us to get ahead of lung cancer for the first time, catching the disease at the earliest opportunity, often before symptoms even start, and treating it with an aim to cure.

“So many people have already benefitted from having a lung health check but there are also a lot of people who have been invited and not taken up the opportunity, so I urge anyone who receives an invitation to have the check – even if you feel well, even if you have no symptoms, even if you’re convinced there’s nothing wrong! You have been invited for a reason and when it comes to lung cancer, it is always best to check”.

Smoking causes more than seven in ten lung cancer cases in the UK. Previous trials have shown that CT screening reduced lung cancer mortality by 26% in men and between 39% and 61% in women.

Not only do the lung trucks scan for cancer, but they have also identified thousands of people with other undiagnosed conditions including respiratory and cardiovascular disease, enabling them to access the treatment they need earlier, and helping to prevent potential hospitalisations.

Thanks to awareness campaigns and early diagnosis drives, the NHS has been seeing and treating record numbers of people for cancer, with over 2.8 million getting checked for cancer in 2022, and over 320,000 people received treatment for cancer in the same year – up on 2.35 million checks and 8,000 treatments in the same period before the pandemic.

The NHS has also made considerable strides in bringing down the 62-day wait cancer backlog with 4,868 fewer people (19,027) waiting in March 19 compared to the same period the month before (23,874).

The main symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • a cough that does not go away after three weeks
  • a long-standing cough that gets worse
  • chest infections that keep coming back
  • coughing up blood
  • an ache or pain when breathing or coughing
  • persistent breathlessness
  • persistent tiredness or lack of energy
  • loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss

The Lung Health Checks are now available in North East Lincolnshire. For more information on the Targeted Lung Health Check programme in the Humber and North Yorkshire region please visit www.lunghealthchecks.org.uk.

Nurse putting patient into CT scanner for Lung Health Check

 

 

 

A patient about to have their lungs checked

Person inside a CT scanner with a lady in a radiographer's uniform stood to the right hand side operating the scanner

Free NHS Lung Health Check service now available to thousands of people in North East Lincolnshire

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Lung Health Checks

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.lunghealthchecks.org.uk.

picture of one of the mobile scanning units for lung health checks. Large lorry type vehicle with steps at the side

Thousands more people in Humber and North Yorkshire to be checked for lung cancer every year – thanks to £1.1m investment in new CT scanner

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Lung Health Checks

An extra 7,000 people in Humber and North Yorkshire could receive potentially life-saving lung scans every year, following the acquisition of another CT scanning unit by partners working together to deliver the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme in the region.

The addition of a second CT scanner was made possible after NHS England and NHS Improvement awarded more than £1.1million to the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme in Humber and North Yorkshire, an area which includes Hull, East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, York and North Yorkshire.

The CT scanning unit will be used to check the health of people’s lungs as part of the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme, which recently launched in North East Lincolnshire and has been running in Hull for approximately two years. The programme will be rolled out in other parts of Humber and North Yorkshire in the coming years.

The acquisition of an extra CT scanner will increase the diagnostic capacity of the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme in Humber and North Yorkshire, from around 7,000 lung health check scans per year to 14,000 scans per year, meaning people in our region can be checked sooner for conditions such as lung cancer, which often does not have any obvious symptoms in the early stages.

The NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme invites people aged 55 – 74 who smoke or used to smoke and are registered with a local GP for a free Lung Health Check.

The screening consists of a telephone assessment and if necessary a low-dose CT scan and helps to identify potential lung problems, including lung cancer, at an earlier stage when they are easier to treat. The CT scans take place on a mobile scanning unit in the community, such as a supermarket car park or sports stadium, and only take 30 seconds to complete.

Dr Stuart Baugh, Clinical Director for Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, said: “The addition of a second CT scanner is a timely boost to the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme in Humber and North Yorkshire as it will help us to potentially diagnose lung conditions in more people at an early stage – when treatment is likely to be more successful and straightforward.

“Community screening of this nature plays a huge part in the early detection of conditions such as lung cancer, which often has no symptoms in the early stages. By picking up problems earlier they can be easier to treat and can increase people’s chances of survival.”

Dr Kanwal Tariq, Consultant in Chest Medicine at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “It’s no exaggeration to say that for some people, the Lung Health Check has potentially been a life saver, and we are proud to have been leading such a proactive and forward-thinking initiative right here in Hull.

“We are keen to continue to play that central role in the delivery of Lung Health Checks further afield now that capacity is set to increase, and we look forward to seeing the new unit up in running in the near future.”

Visit the Cancer Alliance’s website to find out more about the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme in Humber and North Yorkshire.

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