The relocation of the NHS lung health check unit marks the start of approximately 3,000 more people being invited to attend the service, which offers those at increased risk of lung cancer an MOT for their lungs.
The NHS lung health check service originally launched in west Hull in January 2020 and has since delivered over 8,700 assessments, helped to diagnose cancer and other respiratory diseases at an early stage, and provided opportunities for earlier treatment that has saved people’s lives.
Current and former smokers who live in Hull, are aged from 55 to 74 and are registered with a GP in the north Hull area, will receive a lung health check invitation from their GP over the next few weeks.
The lung health check takes place in two stages. The first is an initial phone assessment with a specially trained respiratory nurse. If the assessment finds the person to be at high risk, they will be offered a low dose CT scan of the lungs for further investigation.
The CT scanner is housed on board a high-tech mobile screening unit that has previously been located at North Point Shopping Centre in north Hull and Lidl in west Hull. As the service moves around the city, participants who wish to stop smoking are also offered expert support and advice.
Dr Masood Balouch, a local GP and NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group Board member, said: “Having supported many patients with advanced lung cancer, I know how vitally important it is to book your lung health check appointment when invited, even if you feel fine.
“Lung cancer is commonly diagnosed at a late stage as there often no symptoms in the earliest stages, but lung health checks are helping us to spot cancer earlier, often before symptoms occur.
“If you are registered with a GP practice in north Hull and receive a lung health check invite, don’t ignore it – book your appointment straight away. If you are experiencing symptoms of lung cancer, contact your GP straight away and do not wait for a lung health check.”
Dr Gavin Anderson, Responsible Clinician for NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks in Hull, said: “Following an initial telephone assessment with a specialised respiratory nurse, eligible participants may be invited to attend a follow-up CT scan on board the mobile unit.
“There are lots of safety measures on board to reduce any risk of Covid-19 and the dedicated team are available to answer any questions you may have either before or after your appointment.
“Lung health check scan results are analysed by a specialist clinical ‘hub’ within the hospital and participants receive their results in approximately two weeks. If further follow up is needed, participants are referred by the service to their GP or hospital.”
Dr Stuart Baugh, Clinical Director at Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, said: “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.
“The rollout of the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Programme is a huge step towards achieving our NHS Long Term Plan ambition of catching more cancers at an earlier stage when they are easier to treat.
“The service has already received fantastic feedback from people who have taken part and we look forward to helping even more people as the service continues to move around the city. If you or a member of your family receive a lung health check invitation, don’t ignore it – book your appointment without delay.”
Find out more about lung health checks in Hull at www.lunghealthcheck.org.uk.