To coincide with the start of Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November 2019, Luton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) held an event in the town’s main shopping centre to launch the targeted lung health check service.
Shoppers visiting the Mall on Friday 1 November were confronted by giant inflatable lungs. Standing 12ft high the Mega Lungs were hired from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation to promote the new service which aims to reduce the number of people dying prematurely in the town from lung disease. Leaflets about the service were handed out to shoppers along with information on how to stop smoking.
From early 2020, people living in Luton, aged 55 and under 75 who smoke or who have smoked in the past, will receive a letter from their GP inviting them to a free lung health check. Luton has almost 14,000 people within the target group.
Dr Talib Abubacker, Luton CCG’s clinical lead for respiratory medicine, said: “Targeted lung health checks are an important part of our overall strategy to reduce deaths from lung disease in Luton. Lung disease is often detected quite late which makes it harder to treat successfully. By detecting symptoms earlier than we would have otherwise, we’ll be able to offer more treatments, such as curative surgery, which will save lives.”
The event attracted the interest of hundreds of people and was reported on by BBC Look East and in the local newspaper. Dr Abubacker also explained the importance of targeted lung health checks during an interview with BBC Three Counties Radio.