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Lung Health Check

Updated 8 May 2024

We are currently inviting people from Weymouth and some areas of North and East Bournemouth for Lung Health Checks. We will keep you posted as we roll out the programme more widely in Dorset.

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. If you qualify for a lung health check, you will be offered an appointment at a clinic in/near the locality of your primary care network (the group of GP practices which work with your GP surgery).

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.

If needed, the nurse may also talk to you about having a lung scan. If you are invited to have a lung scan, you will be given an appointment for this on a separate day at either University Hospitals Dorset (Poole), Dorset County Hospital or Weymouth Community Hospital.

If you have a scan, you will be contacted with the results and any follow up advice either via a telephone call and/or letter. Your GP will also be made aware of the results.

How do I book my appointment?

If you qualify for a Lung Health Check, you will receive an invitation in the post for a brief telephone call with the Lung Health Check Team and then if applicable, you will be sent an invitation in the post inviting you to attend a nurse Lung Health Check appointment.

If your assessment at the clinic suggests that a lung scan would be helpful, you will be given a separate appointment for this. If you are unable to attend for any reason you will need to call us to rearrange your appointment.

Whether you are eligible for a Lung Health Check or not, it is 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. 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.

New symptoms always need checking even if you have had a lung health check.

Useful links

The following websites provide information that you may find useful.

LiveWell Dorset - smoking cessation 

NHS: NHS stop smoking services

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

Patient information leaflets

Lung Health Check Leaflet

Lung Health Check Booklet