Please find below a selection of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the Lung Health Check Programme:
Why have I been contacted?
You have been sent a letter because your local practice has identified from your patient records that:
- You are aged 55 to under-75
- You live in Doncaster
- You are a current or former smoker or no smoking status has been recorded at all on your record
You do not have to participate in the Lung Health Check, but the aim of the programme is to detect lung disease, including lung cancer, early so that people can be treated more effectively.
Your contact details and recorded smoking status have been shared confidentially under an NHS sharing agreement. No additional medical information has been shared by your GP practice. Please be assured your contact details have not been passed to an external company or organisation.
What is a Lung Health Check?
A Lung Health Check is an MOT of your lungs and will check that they are working as they should be. The programme will identify poor lung health, offer early diagnosis and better survival rates for lung cancer and other lung conditions by providing quick, easily accessible screenings for those deemed at higher risk of lung conditions. We want as many people as possible to attend their Lung Health Check.
What are the benefits of the Lung Health Check?
- It is free
- It is local and easy to get to – your check takes place over the telephone and in a community setting close to your home
- You can talk through your questions with healthcare professionals
- There is no judgements on smoking and there is advice and assistance on how to quit smoking available if you would like it
- We may be able to identify any health concerns of your lungs much quicker than if you hadn’t attended a Lung Health Check meaning you will more treatment options
How are Lung Health Checks carried out?
Lung Health Checks are carried out by nurses over the telephone. Should you then be identified as eligible for a low dose CT scan you will be invited to a mobile unit based at various places across Doncaster.
If I am invited to go for a scan, is it safe for me to attend it with coronavirus in circulation?
Safety measures are in place on board the mobile unit to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Before the appointment or on arrival you may be asked:
- Do you have a new cough?
- Do you have a raised temperature (this may be checked on arrival at your appointment)?
- Have you had loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell?
If you are unsure or do not want to attend because of concerns about coronavirus, please contact your lung health check provider to discuss this.
We are thoroughly cleaning the equipment and changing areas between participants and we are making sure that our waiting rooms have space to allow for social distancing.
When you arrive at the appointment you will be met by staff who may be wearing personal protection equipment (PPE). Our staff will give you a face mask to wear if you do not have one with you.
Does the mobile scanning unit have wheelchair access?
Yes there is wheelchair access on the vehicle for those who require it.
Do I have to get undressed if I need a CT Scan?
You may need to remove your coat but you can leave your clothing on.
Can I bring someone along with me to the appointment?
Due to limited space in the scanning unit and to comply with social distancing guidance, please come for your appointment on your own and if you can, as near to your appointment time as possible to avoid queues. If you need someone with you, please limit it to one person and they must also wear a face covering. As space is limited any person accompanying you may be asked to wait outside until your appointment is complete. Please let us know if you have any additional needs at the time of booking the CT scan and we will do our best to accommodate you.
What happens after the Lung Health Check?
Should anything be identified either during the discussion with a nurse or during the CT scan, then dependent upon what this is, you will be contacted by telephone or letter with the next steps. If you have any worries about this you can speak to the nursing professionals in the booking team.
How can I tell the difference between symptoms of lung conditions and Covid-19?
We understand that some symptoms of lung conditions are like those of coronavirus. It is important to look out for anything that is unusual for you. If you notice any of the following, without coronavirus symptoms. Please contact your GP as soon as possible for:
- Unexplained persistent cough
- Unexplained persistent breathlessness
- Fatigue lasting four or more weeks
- Persistent or recurrent chest infection
- Unexplained weight loss
- Appetite loss
If you are unsure or do not want to attend because of concerns about coronavirus, then please contact the lung health check appointment team to discuss this.
This leaflet explains the changes in place to ensure your safety and the safety of lung health check staff during Coronavirus.
Why is Doncaster getting this service – what about the other areas?
Doncaster has been selected as a pilot site for NHS England’s Targeted Lung Health Check (TLHC) Programme because the town has one of the highest lung cancer mortality rates in England and statistics have shown that lung disease in Doncaster is often detected at a later stage when outcomes are less favourable.
It is intended that this programme will be available across the country in the future but we do not have any timeframe for its rollout at present.
I smoke and I’m just outside the age range – why can’t I have a Lung Health Check?
This is a targeted programme for people who are at the greatest risk of developing lung problems, including lung cancer at a future stage. As with most screening programmes for people who are asymptomatic (displaying no symptoms) the resources are targeted at the people most at risk. The people most at risk of developing lung problems are aged between 55 to under 75 who smoke or used to smoke and live within Doncaster.
I speak another language, can I request information in a different format or a translator for my appointment?
Yes you can, please request this when speaking with the booking team.