NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG

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Targeted Lung Health Checks in Blackburn with Darwen

Lung Health Checks in Blackburn with Darwen 

Your lungs work hard for you every minute of your life. As you get older it’s worth getting them checked out. 

People living in Blackburn with Darwen, who are between 55 and 74 and have ever smoked will be offered an NHS Lung Health Check. This is an ‘MOT for your lungs’ to see if they are in good working order.

Healthy Lung Checks are now live and are taking place in Blackburn with Darwen from 27th September until 14th November and then will take place from 27th December to 13th February 2022. If you are eligible you will receive a letter from your GP practice inviting you to make a  Lung Health Check appointment.

Your NHS Lung Health Check will take place over the telephone. The checks are led by specialist nurses and will last approximately 30 minutes. You will be asked some questions about your breathing and overall health.

If you want to reduce the amount you smoke, we can give you advice and can talk to you about the support that is available. You will have time to talk to the nurse and ask questions.

As part of the check, you may be offered a low dose CT scan at a later date, if any risks have been identified.

An NHS Lung Health Check can help to spot any problems early – often before you even notice that anything is wrong. If a problem with your breathing or lungs is found early, treatment could be simpler and more successful.

LSC Lung Health Checks Patient Easy Read V4 (pdf | 951.4 KiB)

How to book your Lung Health Check

When you receive your letter it will tell you the time and date when you will receive a phone call to schedule your lung health check appointment. If this is convenient there is no need for you to take any action, however, if you wish to rearrange the time or date there will be a number to call to enable you to do this. The initial call takes about 10 minutes, during which you will be asked if you would like a lung health check and an appointment will be made for you at a time to suit you.

Benefits of the Lung Health Check

  • It is free
  • Any concerns can be discussed about your lung health with a professional
  • If you are a current smoker and would like to stop advice and assistance on how to quit are available.

What to expect at a Lung Health Check

Your NHS Lung Health Check will take place over the telephone. They are led by specialist nurses and will last approximately 30 minutes.

You will be asked some questions about your breathing and overall health. You will have time to talk to the nurse and ask questions.

Frequently asked questions

What is a Lung Health Check?

NHS Lung Health Checks are appointments with specialist nurses to ask you some questions about your breathing and overall health to find out how healthy your lungs are.

You will have time to talk to the nurse and ask questions.

As part of the check, you may be offered a low dose CT scan at a later date, if any risks have been identified.

An NHS Lung Health Check can help to spot any problems early – often before you even notice that anything is wrong. If a problem with your breathing or lungs is found early, treatment could be simpler and more successful.


Why is the NHS offering Lung Health Checks?

If you smoke or have ever smoked, there is a small chance that you may have lung disease. We want to spot this early so that we can treat it more effectively.


Who will be offered a Lung Health Check?

Everyone between 55 and 74 who is registered with a GP in Blackburn with Darwen and who has ever smoked – whether you gave up recently or 30 years ago.

This includes people who smoke or who have ever smoked cigarettes, roll ups or pipes – including shisha / hookah pipes.


How will I get an invitation?

You will be sent an invitation to attend a Lung Health Check through the post. The invitation will come from your GP practice.

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How do I book my Lung Health Check appointment?

Your invitation letter will include a date and time when you will receive a call from the lung health check team. This call will only take a few minutes and it is to check that you are eligible and wish to take part. If this time is not convenient you can ring the number in the letter to rearrange.

By phone on 01530 432341 (Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 6:00pm)


When will I get my invitation?

Invitations will be sent out from November 2021, with appointments sent out GP surgery by surgery in Blackburn with Darwen.


How long will my appointment take?

Your Lung Health Check appointment will last around 30 minutes.


Who will do the Lung Check?

You will speak with a specialist nurse over the phone.


Will I be told to stop smoking?

You will not be told to give up smoking but, if you want to reduce the amount you smoke, we can offer help.


Will I be offered help to stop smoking?

If you want to reduce the amount you smoke or stop, we can give you advice and can talk to you about the support that is available. You will have time to talk to the nurse and ask questions.


What is involved in a low dose CT scan?

This is like an X-ray of your chest, but it is much more effective at detecting lung disease.

You will be asked to wear a hospital gown. You will need to lie down on your back on the scanner table, with your arms raised above your head. The table will then move slowly through the scanner. The scanner is doughnut shaped, not enclosed. It will take detailed X- ray pictures of your lungs. During the scan you will need to hold your breath for about 10 seconds to make sure the pictures taken of your lungs do not come out blurred.

The dose of radiation is slightly higher than that of a chest X-ray, but much less than that of a traditional CT scan. It is equivalent to 6 months’ natural background radiation or 50 short haul flights.

The scan itself takes less than a minute to complete and the entire appointment takes approximately 10 minutes.


How will I know if I need a CT scan?

The nurse who does your Lung Health Check will be able to tell you there and then if you need a low dose CT scan.


How can I change / cancel my appointment?

By phone on 01530 432341 (Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 6:00pm)


How long does the CT scan take?

The scan only takes only a minute but please allow a little extra time for getting changed and giving your consent.


How will I get my results?

If your results are normal we will let you know by post, this could take up to four weeks.

If we find something abnormal, one of the Lung Health Check team will contact you by phone and discuss what will happen next.

Some people may need another CT scan. If this is the case, don’t worry, a member of the Lung Health Check team will contact you by phone and discuss what will happen next.

Your GP will also receive a copy of your results at the same time.  If you are worried about not having received your results yet, please contact the Lung Health Check team rather than your GP.


What might a CT scan show?

A CT scan can show a number of lung related problems including cancer. It is important to remember that diseases found through a screening programme are often easier to treat and have better long outcomes.


Can I bring someone along with me to the scan appointment?

Due to the social distancing measures imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are asking that you don’t bring anyone else to the mobile CT unit unless it is absolutely necessary.


Why haven’t I received an invitation?

Invitations will be sent out to everyone between 55 and 74 who is registered with a GP in Blackburn with Darwen and who has ever smoked – whether you gave up recently or 30 years ago. If you do not meet this criteria, you will not be sent an invitation.

We are sending out invitations in batches, GP surgery by GP surgery, over the next 12 months to people who meet the above criteria.


How is the NHS Lung Health Check programme being paid for?

NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group has been chosen along with nine other CCGs across England to be part of Phase 1 of the NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Targeted Lung Health Check programme. The money for this is coming directly from NHS England and NHS Improvement, so it will not affect the daily running of the NHS locally.


Is the information available in other languages?

The patient booklet has been translated into Polish, Punjabi, Romanian and Urdu. These are available in electronic format in the (Insert link from ICS webpage when ready and updated)

All information on the website can be translated into a number of languages – click on the ‘Accessibility’ button at the top of each page.

TLHC Info Booklet FINAL POLISH (pdf | 531.5 KiB)

TLHC Info Booklet FINAL ROMANIAN (1) (pdf | 481.0 KiB)

191016 TLHC Info Booklet FINAL UR V2 (pdf | 586.1 KiB)


What are the benefits of the Lung Health Check?

If you are a smoker, or have been in the past, your chances of getting lung disease are higher than those of someone who has never smoked. Sadly lung disease is often very advanced before you realise that you have it which makes treatment much more complicated and often less successful. However a CT scan can identify lung disease at a much earlier stage, before you have any symptoms, giving you a chance of treatment which could lead to a full recovery.


How else can I keep my lungs healthy?

If you are interested in stopping smoking or making healthier lifestyle choices, our team will be able to discuss this with you at your Lung Health Check appointment or you can visit your local pharmacy for advice on how to stop smoking.


What if I have any questions?

You will receive a patient information leaflet with your invitation letter, which will explain the benefits and risks involved with a screening programme and should answer most of your questions.

If you have any further questions about your Lung Health Check appointment, please contact the Lung Health Check team:

By phone on 01530 432341 (Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 6:00pm)

 

Healthy lungs

Here are some things you can do to help your lungs stay healthy:

Stay smoke-free

  • The single best thing you can do to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke.
  • If you do smoke and would like to stop, there is free, local and expert support available.
  • You are three times more likely to quit smoking with help from a stop smoking service.

Get coughs checked

  • Symptoms of lung cancer can be hard to spot and can develop as a condition progresses.
  • If you develop a persistent cough or breathlessness that doesn’t go away after three weeks, or if you are coughing up blood or you have any new worrying symptoms, particularly significant weight loss, make an appointment to see your GP.

Video – Lung cancer signs and symptoms

Dr Neil Smith on Lung Cancer signs and symptoms: https://youtu.be/Toc1T8PQ7Aw