Your lungs work hard for you throughout your life. As you get older, it’s worth getting them checked out.
SWAG Cancer Alliance’ Targeted Lung Health Check Programme is a new pilot scheme giving people a chance to check their lung health. They will test how well your lungs are functioning and offer advice and support around keeping your lungs healthy. You can think of it like a car MOT. Most of the time, no problems will be found, and we will be able to reassure you that your lungs are working well. In the unlikely case that a problem is picked up with a person’s lungs or breathing, finding it early could make treatment easier and more successful.
One of the things being looked for is lung cancer. Many people with lung cancer are not aware they have it, as there are often no signs or symptoms at an early stage. Because of this, most lung cancers are diagnosed at a later stage than other cancers, when they are large or have spread to other areas of the body. This makes treatment harder. If we can diagnose lung cancer when it is small, it is more likely to be treatable. That’s where the targeted lung health check comes in.
Who is eligible for a lung health check?
To be eligible for this programme, you must be:
• Aged 55 – 74
• A smoker or have ever smoked (more than 100 cigarettes)
How do I book my lung health check?
You do not need to do anything. Eligible individuals will be sent a letter inviting them to a telephone lung health check.This may lead to a face-to-face appointment and low-dose CT scan for some individuals. See which locations are near you.
This is a pilot programme with a funding for a specific number of lung health checks. The identified practices have been selected using a range of indicators, including lung cancer incidence and deprivation indexes, to make sure the Lung Health Checks are delivered to people who will benefit the most from them.
We know that there will be people who live outside of these areas who may benefit from a Lung Health Check, and we are hoping to be able to offer Lung Health Checks to everyone who meets these criteria across Somerset, Wiltshire, Avon and Gloucestershire in the next few years. So, if you are not invited initially, hopefully you will be soon.
If you are not invited, there are several things you can do to look after your lung health in the meantime. If you notice any of the following symptoms, please contact your GP as soon as possible.
• Unexplained persistent cough
• Unexplained persistent breathlessness
• Fatigue lasting four or more weeks
• Persistent or recurrent chest infection
• Unexplained weight loss
• Appetite loss
For more information on looking after your lungs, please see the ‘I’m not eligible for a lung health check, but I am interested in keeping my lungs healthy’ or the ‘healthy lungs’ sections of the Targeted Lung Health Checks website: https://swaglunghealthcheck.nhs.uk/
Which locations are taking part?
For this programme – you need to be living in central Gloucester (GL1), Bridgwater, West Bath (BA2), North Bristol (BS10, BS11), South Bristol (multiple) or central Bristol (multiple) and be registered with one of the following practices:
South Bristol – SWIFT PCN
· Lennard Surgery
· Grange Road
· Bedminster Family Practice
Central Bristol – BRISTOL INNER CITY PCN
·Montpelier Health Centre
·East Trees Health Centre
·Broadmead Medical Centre
·Lawrence Hill Health Centre
·Charlotte Keel Medical Practice
North Bristol – NORTHERN ARC
·Southmead & Henbury Family Practice
·Pioneer Medical Group
·Shirehampton Group Practice
Bridgwater – BRIDGWATER BAY PCN
·Cranleigh Gardens Medical Centre
·Somerset Bridge Medical Centre
·Redgate Medical Centre
·East Quay Medical Centre
·Taunton Road Medical Centre
·North Petherton Surgery
·Cannington Health Centre
·Polden Medical Practice
·Quantock Medical Practice
Inner City Gloucestershire – INNER CITY GLOS PCN
·Partners in Health
·Gloucester City Health Centre
·Gloucester Health Access Centre
West Bath – MINERVA AND HEART OF BATH PCNs
·St Michael’s Surgery
·Rush Hill Surgery
·Heart of Bath Practice