Targeted Lung Health Checks (TLHC) is a programme of work funded by NHS England. It will contribute to the ambition of the NHS Long Term Plan to improve early diagnosis and survival for those diagnosed with cancer.
The NHS Long Term Plan outlines a range of developments that will transform cancer care so that from 2028, an extra 55,000 people each year will survive for five years or more following their cancer diagnosis and three in four cancers (75%) will be diagnosed at an early stage.
Lung cancer is frequently diagnosed at a later stage than other cancers, due to there often being no signs at an early stage. The TLHC programme targets those most at risk of lung cancer and works in partnership with the Integrated Care Boards that have some of the highest rates of mortality from lung cancer. The programme now aims to offer a TLHC to all eligible patients across West Yorkshire and Harrogate by 2027.
The Targeted Lung Health Check programme (TLHC) offers lung health checks to eligible participants who are current or former smokers. The programme aims to improve earlier diagnosis of lung cancer, at a stage when it is much more treatable.
People aged over 55years old but less than 75 years old that have ever smoked will be invited to a free lung health check. This will include a lung cancer risk assessment, brief advice and a smoking cessation discussion and/or referral into specialist stop smoking services.
Following the lung health check those assessed as high risk will be offered a low dose Computerised Tomography (CT) scan.
More information about targeted lung health checks can be found on the NHS England website.
Have you received an invitation to attend a lung health check?
Targeted Lung Health Checks In West Yorkshire and Harrogate
Two TLHC projects are currently live across 2022/2023 - North Kirklees and Bradford District and Craven. Programme expansion will be progressed up to 2027 within Calderdale and Kirklees, Wakefield, Harrogate, and Leeds.
In addition, there have also been further pilots, such as the Yorkshire Lung Screening programme in Leeds. In addition, a total of 7775 participants from the Bradford area and 7122 participants from Wakefield have already been covered through early WYH Cancer Alliance TLHC pilots. Bradford participants have also been through 24-month follow up. Both localities were selected for the pilots due to a combination of high smoking prevalence and poor associated clinical outcomes.
Symptom Awareness and Promoting Lung Health Checks
West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance continues to collaborate to raise awareness of potential lung cancer symptoms; the need for patients to seek early help from their GP and the health benefits of smoking cessation.
This includes working with communications professionals in our partner organisations, as well as the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, the only UK charity to focus solely on lung cancer care.
Kerrie Massey is the Programme Manager for Targeted Lung Health Checks.
For more information, email wyicb-wak.