Residents in Southend are set to benefit from improved health outcomes when the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme begins in April 2022 through until April 2026.
To launch the programme, representatives from The Roy Castle Foundation will be visiting Asda, Shoeburyness with their Mega Lungs on 17th March 2022 between 10am and 4pm where local residents can find out more about the Targeted Lung Health Check programme.
Southend is the second area in Mid and South Essex to benefit from this programme, following an initial implementation in November 2020. To date in Thurrock, 21 cancers have been found, many in early stages making them treatable.
Southend has poor outcomes for lung cancer and some of the highest rates of smoking with 42% of the local population labelled as smokers. The programme is one of the second wave of sites to be rolled out as part the NHS Long Term Plan. Over 17,000 people in Southend will meet the criteria to be invited from April 2022.
Dr Jose Garcia, Chair and local GP in Southend said:
“Southend is really lucky to be one of the phase 3 areas to be selected for NHS England’s lung health check pilots. The programme will allow hundreds of people to receive potentially life-saving treatment for conditions much earlier than they would have before. This will bring huge benefits for the local population.”
“Sadly, 20% of people in the UK still cannot name one symptom of lung cancer. This lack of awareness is one of the reasons why so many people with lung cancer are diagnosed at a later stage.
“We know if lung cancer is caught early, curative treatment is possible and people can go on to live life to the fullest. The difficulty has been finding it at those early stages!”
Existing and former smokers aged between 55 and 75 across Southend will be invited to have a free lung health check with a lung health check nurse at a convenient location close to where they live, this may be initially over the phone. If deemed high risk they will be offered a low dose CT scan on a state-of-the-art mobile unit.
Only those meeting the criteria will be invited to take part in the programme.