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Thousands of west Londoners offered lung health checks

RM Partners has restarted its west London lung health check programme, which was paused in March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

GP practices in Hammersmith and Fulham are again inviting registered patients who are current or ex-smokers and aged between 55-75 for a lung health check. Eligible patients in Hillingdon will start to be invited from September.

The aim of the project is to find more lung cancers at an earlier, more treatable stage.

The lung health check is now conducted by telephone. This involves a respiratory nurse working through a questionnaire with the patient, discussing their smoking and medical history, and any possible respiratory symptoms they may have noticed.

Depending on the outcome, patients may then be offered an ultra-low dose CT scan at Royal Brompton Hospital. Patients can be assured that the hospital carries out a number of measures to keep everyone safe, including wearing personal protective equipment and robust cleaning procedures.

Patients in Hillingdon who are offered a CT scan after their lung health check will be invited to a mobile unit based at a local venue.

Lung cancer is by far the most common cause of deaths from cancer in the UK because many people are diagnosed late, when treatment has a more limited impact. The national NHS lung health checks programme will diagnose 3,400 lung cancers, many at an early stage, over the next three years.

Dr Richard Lee, RM Partners lung pathway group chair and respiratory physician at The Royal Marsden, said: ‘Our lung health checks are a key to improving early diagnosis. They can help find lung cancers sooner, when treatment is more effective, and in that way, save lives. The last few months may have made it difficult for people to look after their health. We would encourage everyone who receives an invitation to take advantage of this opportunity to care for their lungs.’

More information is available on the West London Lung Health Check website