Free ‘Lung Health Check’ offered to residents in North Rhondda!
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board is the first health board in Wales to launch a ‘Lung Health Check’ pilot programme to detect the early stages of lung cancer, before there are any signs or symptoms.
In collaboration with the Wales Cancer Network, the Health Board plans to see its first patients of the pilot programme undergoing scans from September 27, 2023.
Research shows that lung cancers found through lung health checks are much more likely to be at an early stage. When found early, treatment for lung cancer may be simpler and is more likely to be successful. Research shows that lung cancer screening scans can reduce the risk of dying from lung cancer by around 25%.
Lung cancer can develop at any time and it is important to look out for anything that is unusual, such as a new cough that lasts more than three weeks, or a change to a cough you have had for a while. If you are concerned you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
Working with identified GP surgeries in North Rhondda, the pilot programme will aim to offer a lung screening scan to around 500 patients. The first practices taking part in the pilot are St David’s Street Surgery and Llwynypia Surgery, with a small number of further surgeries from the Rhondda area to follow. The practices will identify patients who are between the ages of 60-74, who smoke or have smoked in the past. The identified patients will receive an invitation for a telephone assessment together with a detailed booklet, which will ensure that they have all of the information needed to enable them to make an informed decision as to whether or not they engage with the service. Following acceptance from the patient, a telephone assessment will take place and, if the patient is suitable, they will be invited to attend for a low-dose CT lung screening scan. The mobile scanning unit will be situated outside Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda in Llwynypia, Rhondda Cynon Taf to ensure easy access for all patients that attend.
Those participating in the lung health check will be supported throughout their journey via a clear and well-explained care pathway.
Sinan Eccles, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine is leading the pilot on behalf of CTMUHB and said: “Catching lung cancer early, before there are any symptoms, can make a huge difference. Lung cancer can be cured when found at an early stage. It is exciting that this pilot programme is happening in Cwm Taf Morgannwg; it will help us shape the plans for a wider lung cancer screening programme in Wales in future.”
Chris Coslett, Lung Health Check Programme Manager, NHS Executive (Wales Cancer Network) said: “It is fantastic to be working in collaboration with the Health Board, as well as industry and third sector partners, to deliver this exciting pilot, the learning from which will have a lasting legacy for the people of Wales for years to come.”
Dr Bikram Choudhary, St David’s Street surgery, Ton Pentre said:
“We are delighted that free lung health checks are being offered to patients at our practice as a first in Wales. The initial telephone appointment is quick and convenient. These checks can make a big difference, so I’d urge everyone who receives an invitation to take up the appointment.”
Tenovus Cancer Care Chief Executive, Judi Rhys, commented: “Early detection is key to improving outcomes for people with lung cancer, which remains the biggest cancer killer in Wales. The clinical and financial benefits of screening are overwhelming, and we’re pleased to see the launch of the pilot. The programme has the potential to save hundreds of lives across the country.”
For more information on the lung health pilot visit https://ctmuhb.nhs.wales/services/lung-health-checks/
Stopping smoking is the single most important change a person can make to improve their health. If you need support to stop smoking call 0800 085 2219 (free of charge) or visit www.helpmequit.wales
The following organisations supported the pilot programme:
- Tenovus Cancer Care
- Moondance Cancer Initiative
- BMS (Bristol Myers Squibb)
- MSD (Merck Sharp Dohme (UK) Ltd)