Scheme to reduce Doncaster lung cancer deaths to start this month
A scheme aimed at tackling Doncaster’s traditionally high levels of lung disease is finally set to start.
The Lung Health Check Programme had its planned launch last year put on hold after the coronavirus pandemic struck a year ago.
However officials have today confirmed that the scheme will start this month.
Chairman of Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning group, Dr David Crichton, said: “This was mentioned as a long term plan in 2019 and was ready, but was hampered by Covid.
"We are delighted that it is proposed to go live by the end of this month, starting in the south of the borough.
"I think this is a key programme that we’re pleased to be able to get up and running.”.
Invitations will be sent to patients from a small number of GP Practices initially before the programme is rolled out across the borough over the next 12 months.
People who live in Doncaster aged from 55 to less than 75, who smoke or used to smoke and have a Doncaster GP will be offered a free NHS lung health check.
Run by specially-trained nurses, lung health checks aim to find out how well the patient's lungs are working, so any problems can be picked up early so any treatment could be simpler and more successful.
Appointments are carried out over the telephone with a specialised nurse, lasting approximately 20 to 30 minutes. The nurse asks questions about breathing and overall lung health as well as lifestyle, family and medical history. There is no breathing test.
But some patients may be offered a low dose CT scan to check for early signs of lung cancer as well as other lung diseases.
The scan would take place in a mobile unit at various locations across Doncaster hand would only take a few seconds, according to NHS officials.
The targeted lung health check could help improve survival rates in Doncaster and a recent study shows that low dose CT can pick up changes earlier and reduced lung cancer deaths by 26 per cent in Men and between 39 per cent and 61 per cent in women.
Doncaster has traditionally had higher than average levels of lung disease as a legacy of its mining and railway industries, and above average smoking levels.