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NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks in North Yorkshire

NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks are funded by NHS England and are being delivered in a phased approach across Humber and North Yorkshire.

Lung Health Checks aren’t currently established in your area. However, we are busy developing the programme and aim to roll the scheme out to North Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and York by 2026.

How the programme has been developed and areas selected

Initially, Hull was selected as a pilot site for the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme because the city has one of the highest lung cancer mortality rates in England and statistics have shown that lung disease was too often detected at a later stage.

Additional funding has since been received to support delivery of the programme in North East Lincolnshire as it is the next highest area in our region for lung cancer mortality rates. Additional funding between 2023 and 2026 will target high risk areas in North Lincolnshire, East Riding,  North Yorkshire and York.

picture of a female GP in a grey jacket, black trousers and white blouse with blonde bobbed hair talking to a female patient in her consultation room. Bed to the left and sink behind with desk to the right hand side

In the meantime, if you or someone you know is worried about any of the symptoms below a GP appointment should be sought as soon as possible:

• A persistent cough or change in your normal cough
• Coughing up blood
• Being short of breath
• Unexplained tiredness or weight loss
• An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
• Appetite loss

Simple steps for healthy lungs

Our lungs deliver oxygen to and remove carbon dioxide from the body. They work hard every minute of your life so it’s important to look after them to keep them working well. It’s never too late to take steps to improve your lung health. Below are just a few of the things that you can do:

Small amounts of regular exercise is great for maintaining our overall health as well as that of our lungs. During exercise your muscles work harder, and your body uses more oxygen, this improves your cardio-respiratory fitness making it easier for your lungs to keep your heart and muscles supplied with oxygen.  Aim for 20 minutes of moderate activity daily, such as a brisk walk or bike ride

Maintaining a healthy weight and choosing healthy food options is again important for our overall health. But did you know that certain foods can also support lung health? A plant-based diet or Mediterranean-style diets consisting of leafy greens, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes can support lung health as they are high in antioxidants such as vitamin E and vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties

Smoking damages the lungs and is a leading cause of lung disease. Stopping smoking is the most important step a person can take to protect their lungs and that of others from passive smoking. If you smoke it is never too late to stop. There’s a range of advice available via the NHS Better Health stop smoking website and you can also speak with your local stop smoking service:

NE Lincs Wellbeing Service

Phone: 01472 325500

Email: [email protected]


North Lincolnshire Healthy Lifestyle Service

Phone: 01724 298212

Email: [email protected]


Smokefree Hull

Phone: 01482 977617

Email: [email protected]


Living Well Smokefree North Yorkshire

Phone: 01609 797272

Email: [email protected]


City of York Council Stop Smoking Service (via City of York Council Health Trainers)

Phone: 01904 553377

Email: [email protected]

A persistent cough can be an early warning sign of lung disease, including COPD and lung cancer. Other symptoms might include feeling more breathless or noticing chest pain. Don’t ignore or dismiss these symptoms; speak to your GP.

Simple breathing techniques can help to keep your lung functioning effectively such as:

Diaphragmatic breathing - Concentrate on lowering the diaphragm as you breathe in, for a deeper inhale

Deep breathing – As you slowly inhale, expand your belly and lower the diaphragm. Next, expand your ribs and allow the upper chest to expand and lift. Exhale by letting the chest fall, the ribs contract and your stomach muscles in, lifting up the diaphragm to expel the last bit of air.

Counting your breaths –Start by counting how long a natural breath takes. The length of time to inhale should be the same as the length of time to exhale. Once you know your average breath count, add a count to each inhale and exhale to extend the length of time it takes to fill and empty your lungs.

The lungs are soft structures and only take up the amount of room we give them. Maintaining a good posture can provide our lungs with the space they need to function effectively. Maintain an upright good posture and lift and open your chest as you breathe deeply to maximise your lung capacity.