This autumn, The Roy Castle Mega Lungs were at a number of locations in Thurrock to raise awareness of the brand new NHS Lung Health checks and lung health in general.
Accompanied by two giant 15ft Mega Lungs from the Roy Castle Lung Foundation, NHS Thurrock CCG and some of our partners were at events in Tilbury and Grays to talk about lung health.
People could explore the Mega Lungs to get an idea of how they work and how they can go wrong. Representatives from Roy Castle gave a tour through the lungs, showing all manner of conditions from cancer to pneumonia and bronchitis.
Our main focus for the events was to talk about the new NHS Lung Health Check programme coming to Thurrock in 2020. The new programme will be for smokers and ex-smokers aged between 55 and under 75 as we know that smoking makes it more likely for people to develop lung conditions. The checks aim to help detect these lung conditions earlier when treatment is more effective, improving outcomes and quality of life.
Dr Manjeet Sharma, GP at Orsett Surgery in Thurrock, said: “Thurrock is very lucky to benefit from the early roll out of this new screening programme. The sooner we find problems with people’s lungs such as cancer or COPD, the sooner we can begin treating them, and early treatment saves lives.
“These new scanners have the potential to make a significant difference to people living in Thurrock. If you are aged between 55 and under 75 and smoke or have ever smoked, I would encourage you to let your GP know so you can benefit from the new service.”
The health checks will take place in state-of-the-art mobile screening trucks that will be located in convenient locations across Thurrock, making it easier for people to attend. The appointment will last around 30 minutes and will involve a few judgement-free questions about breathing and health, a test measuring breathing, and a CT scan if a person is identified as being at higher risk.
We will be starting the programme with a small number of people first before rolling it out to the whole borough. If you fall in the programme age range and are registered at a Thurrock GP practice, make sure your GP surgery knows you smoke or have ever smoked without delay. They will then be able to register you as an ‘ever smoker’ so that you can be invited for a lung check appointment. If your practice doesn’t have you registered you will miss out on the opportunity.
As well as sharing information on the health checks, representatives from other services joined us to talk to Thurrock residents about other services for smokers. The Thurrock Healthy Lifestyle Service provides advice and support to help smokers kick the habit. Click the link below to find out more about the service: