Mobile Lung Health Checks Launched in Leeds

06 November 2018

People at high risk of developing lung disease will have the chance to take part in a pioneering project funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research. 

About 7,000 people across the city who smoke or used to smoke will be invited for a special type of x-ray called a screening CT scan that can detect very early signs of lung cancer.

The Leeds Lung Health Check, a multi-million pound project developed in partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Leeds and Leeds City Council, will take place in a mobile unit based in supermarket car parks and shopping centres to make it more convenient for people to take part.

Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Yorkshire. It is frequently diagnosed at a late stage when treatment options are more limited and survival rates are lower. Screening can help detect lung cancer before any signs or symptoms develop.

“As well as saving lives, this trial will provide vital evidence that may help the government decide how to introduce a national lung cancer screening programme in the UK.”

In 2016, 4,500 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in Yorkshire, and 3,340 people died from it. In some areas of Leeds, people are twice as likely to get lung cancer than the national average1.


GPs will invite people who might be at risk of lung disease to take part in the lung health checks, which will also include a lung function test.

Dr Mat Callister, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, is leading the project. He estimates that more than 300 lung cancers will be detected during the four-year programme, allowing those patients to receive potentially life-saving treatment earlier.

Evidence from the US shows that 8 in 10 patients diagnosed with lung cancer by screening will be alive 10 years after diagnosis 2, compared to just 1 in 10 for people diagnosed currently in the UK.

Dr Callister said: “We’d like people to think of these checks as an MOT for their lungs. We’re all used to taking our cars to get checked each year to make sure the tyres and brakes are working fine. We’re doing the same thing with people’s lungs – checking lung function, oxygen levels and doing a special scan to look for early signs of lung cancer.

“We’re trying to find people who would otherwise arrive in our clinics in two or three years’ time with advanced cancer, and instead pick up their cancer at an early stage when we can cure their disease and save their lives.”

Dr Yvette Oade, Chief Medical Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We hope this study will help us to provide the best diagnosis and treatment so that every person affected by cancer is assured of the best possible outcomes. Most lung cancers are caused by smoking, and Yorkshire has the highest rate of smoking in England. By focusing this screening study on communities where smoking prevalence is known to be high, it will help us to improve health inequalities.”

Richard Neal, Professor of Primary Care Oncology at the University of Leeds and a GP in the city, is leading the project for the University.

Professor Neal said: “This trial is likely to be a game-changer in how lung cancer is diagnosed for many people, as it gives us the chance to diagnose them at an early stage when effective treatments are available. GPs understand this, and that is why every practice in the parts of the city where we are doing this trial has signed up. That is quite remarkable.

“The University has a wealth of experience in running large scale health projects like this, and we will harness this knowledge to deliver the biggest possible benefits for people across the city.”

The screening unit, provided by leading mobile medical unit provider, EMS Healthcare, will be located at White Rose Shopping Centre from Monday, November 6, to Saturday, November 17. It will then move to Elland Road from Monday, December 10, to Friday, December 21. Further locations will be confirmed in due course.

Leeds Lung Health Check FAQs

Watch the launch video




Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email:

Notes to Editors

  • Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
  • We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
  • Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
  • Current statistics show that 575 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
  • We aim to:
    • Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
    • Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
    • Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
    • Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient's journey.
  • For further information, please visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

White Rose Shopping Centre:

  • White Rose is home to more than 100 leading retailers including Zara, Superdry, Topshop, Primark, River Island, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Next, H&M, New Look, Schuh, Office, JD Sports, Disney and The Entertainer
  • White Rose contains a host of eateries including Frankie & Benny’s, Nando’s, Pizza Express, Krispy Kreme, Patisserie Valerie, Costa Coffee, Prezzo and Handmade Burger Co. A 65,000 sq. ft. leisure extension including five new restaurants – Five Guys, Wagamama, TGI Friday’s, Chiquito, and Pizza Hut – opened in July 2017, with an 11-screen Cineworld with IMAX and ScreenX technology opened in November 2017
  • White Rose has excellent public transport links and 5,000 free parking spaces
  • Over the past 20 years White Rose has become established as an important community hub, from inspiring and encouraging school children through innovative out of school learning activities, to helping older people to maintain healthy lifestyles with daily Mall Walking
  • White Rose is a centre for the community and is constantly supporting local initiatives such as the South Leeds Youth Hub and The Point, which is a learning and development Centre that can support you if you are seeking employment and training, by providing the relevant work related skills to help you plan your future career. It was established in partnership with Leeds City Council, Leeds City College, Job Centre Plus, Land Securities and the National Careers Service
  • White Rose is owned and operated by Landsec. More information on Landsec can be found on

About EMS Healthcare

  • EMS Healthcare owns and operates a fleet of mobile medical units that provide vital, tailor-made facilities to the healthcare sector. As a listed supplier on the NHS’s Mobile Diagnostics, Theatres, Treatment and Therapy Services Framework, EMS Healthcare can quickly and efficiently deliver anything from agile single units, to high-capacity multi-units solutions, wherever they are needed.
  • Over its seven years’ experience in mobile clinical accommodation, the company has supplied clinical, education and treatment facilities to leading healthcare organisations.
  • This knowledge puts EMS Healthcare at the forefront of practical solutions to modern healthcare challenges. These solutions provide clinicians with the space, mobility and technology they need to meet increased demand or during crucial refurbishments and enable local, accessible care to be delivered closer to the homes and communities of patients.

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