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Lung Health Check

Updated 23 November 2022

The Targeted Lung Health Check screening service is due to start in Dorset in November 2022.

If you are aged 55 to 74, and are registered with a Dorset GP and are a current or former smoker, you will be invited to have a Lung Health Check (excluding patients who are on end-of-life treatment or who have lung cancer or lung metastases, within five years of diagnosis).

You will be invited to attend a Lung Health Check appointment even if you feel fit and healthy and currently have no lung problems, or if you currently have a lung condition.

Lung Health Checks are a really important check-up of the overall health of your lungs and can spot any early signs of lung problems, often before you notice anything is wrong. This means that, if lung cancer, or another problem with your breathing or lungs is found at an early stage, treatment could be simpler and more successful.

What will happen at my lung health check?

The Dorset Lung Health Check service is being run by specially trained nurses from Dorset County Hospital. For patients who live in the east of the county, Lung Health Check appointments will take place at the Chiropractic Clinic, AECC University College, Bournemouth. For patients who live in the west of the county appointments will take place at Weymouth Community Hospital or at South Walks House in Dorchester.

The nurse will ask you some questions about your breathing and overall lung health. They will also ask you about your lifestyle, family and medical history, and your height and weight will be taken along with spirometry (a breathing test) and carbon monoxide levels.

The nurse may also talk to you about having a lung scan. If you are invited to a lung scan, you will be asked to travel to the appointment which will be provided from either University Hospitals Dorset (Poole) or Dorset County Hospital.

You will be contacted with the results of the Lung Health Check, and any follow up advice either via a telephone call and/or letter and your GP will also be made aware.

How do I book my appointment?

If you are eligible for a Lung Health Check, you will be contacted by telephone by the Lung Health Check Team and then if applicable, sent an invitation in the post inviting you to attend a Lung Health Check appointment on a specified date and time. If you are unable to attend for any reason you will need to call us to rearrange your appointment.

If you aren’t eligible for a Lung Health Check, it is still really important to look after your lungs by being active, stopping smoking, eating healthily and telling your GP about any of the following symptoms that are unusual to you, such as:

  • a persistent cough or change in your normal cough – please note, if you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) visit the NHS website for advice or call 111 if you cannot get help online. It is important you stay at home. However, if your cough isn’t COVID and lasts three weeks or more please see your GP;
  • coughing up blood;
  • being short of breath;
  • unexplained tiredness or weight loss;
  • an ache or pain when breathing or coughing;
  • appetite loss.

Useful Links

The following websites provide information that you may find useful.

LiveWell Dorset - smoking cessation 

NHS: NHS stop smoking services

Royal College of Nursing: Smoking cessation

Wessex Cancer Alliance: Targeted lung health checks

Cancer Matters Wessex

Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation: What are lung health checks?

Cancer Research UK: Lung health checks