Residents most at risk of lung disease in South Kirkby and Hemsworth are reaping the benefits of a pioneering health check programme being run from their local GP surgeries.
Around 100 patients attended the Church View Medical Centre on Langthwaite Road in South Kirkby to receive their ‘lung MOT’ during the first week of a targeted lung health check pilot programme led by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, in partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Invitations have been sent to patients of the practice aged 55 – 74 who smoke or used to smoke – individuals who are considered to be most at risk of lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, as well as cancer.
A number of patients have also taken up the opportunity to access free advice and help to quit smoking which is being provided on site by specialist advisors. Evidence has shown that access to such support gives smokers the best possible chance of giving up.
Church View is home to two specific GP practices – Drs DP Diggle and RE Phillips, and Dr SP Singh and Partners. ‘Lung MOTs’ are also being made available to other patients of Dr Singh and Partners who meet the same criteria at their branch surgery on Southmoor Road.
The checks will also be rolled out in the near future to patients of The Grange Medical Centre at Highfield Road in Hemsworth.
Lung health check nurse Louise Bristow conducts out one of the first Wakefield appointments with patient Lindsey Allen, of South Elmsall, at the Church View Health Centre in South Kirkby
During the 30-minute checks, specially-trained nurses ask each patient questions about their breathing and overall lung health, and measure their height and their weight. They then carry out a breathing test to identify any problems that may need further attention, and a six-year risk score calculation for developing lung cancer. Current smokers are then offered the opportunity to access the stop smoking service, if they wish.
A referral for a low dose CT scan is available to patients whose results warrant further investigations for early signs of lung cancer, and those patients receive a booked appointment slot at the time of their lung health check. The CT scanning service will also be provided on site, in the Church View Medical Centre car park.
A range of organisations are working in partnership to deliver Wakefield’s targeted lung health check programme. It is being co-ordinated by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance. Other partners include NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group; Conexus Healthcare, the GP confederation for all practices in Wakefield, and Nova, the support agency for voluntary and community organisations in the area. Healthwatch Wakefield is supporting the project by conducting a survey of patient experience.
The stop smoking support, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, is being provided by Yorkshire Smokefree and was commissioned by the Public Health Department at Wakefield Council.
Professor Sean Duffy, Clinical Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, is pictured with specialist smoking cessation adviser Amanda Kingsbury of Yorkshire Smokefree (centre), and Hazel Taylor, Manager of the Alliance’s Tackling Lung Cancer Programme
One of the first to take up the lung health check invitation was Lindsey Allen of South Elmsall, a patient at the Church View Medical Centre.
“As an ex-smoker, I thought it was really important to take up the invitation for the lung MOT. It’s a great opportunity to get checked out and learn more about risks and the lifestyle choices you can make. I’m really glad I did it,” said Lindsey.
“I really hope that people will be encouraged to take up the health checks. I will certainly be spreading the word! Well done to the NHS for the education about prevention, and for the new outlook I now have on health and wellbeing.”
Louise Bristow, the specialist nurse who carried out Lindsey’s lung health check, said: "I'm so pleased this programme has come to Wakefield because it really could change and save lives. Too many people die early from undiagnosed lung conditions. This quick, easy test gives us chance to catch and treat any problems better than we ever could before."
Professor Sean Duffy, Clinical Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, stressed the benefits of attending the lung health check.
“Our lungs work hard every single minute of our lives and as we get older, it’s worth having them checked out,” he said. “Lung health checks are a great way to find out how well your lungs are working and can help health professionals to spot any problems early – often before the patient notices that anything is wrong. Early diagnosis of any lung condition is important and can mean that treatment could be simpler and more successful. That is certainly the case with cancer.”
Dr Abdul Mustafa, GP Partner at Trinity Medical Centre and Clinical Lead for Cancer at NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The lung health check pilot programme will undoubtedly save lives in Wakefield.
“Not only does the health check help to identify any current or developing lung conditions, but it also provides a great opportunity for those who wish to stop smoking to get the support they need from a local stop smoking service.
“The health checks are easily accessible for those who are invited to them, as all elements of the check are completed within the community, at a patient’s practice.This pilot programme is a fantastic opportunity for the people of South Kirkby and Hemsworth.”
Dr Stuart Griffiths, Director of Research and Services at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “Providing stop smoking support to those attending a lung health check is incredibly important. For some patients, it may be the first time they’ve received direct access to a stop smoking adviser and discovered the wide range of methods and devices available.
“It’s never too late to quit – the benefits can be noticed just 20 minutes after stopping. After one year, the risk of heart disease is about half compared with a person who is still smoking.
“We’ve found that people attending checks generally have a huge desire to quit, but they’re not sure where to start. We’re delighted to be funding this service in South Kirby and Hemsworth.”
Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracy Holmes, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, email@example.com
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 583 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 www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance:
• The Cancer Alliance brings part of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership – https://www.wyhpartnership.co.uk/
• The Alliance brings together NHS organisations; local councils; charities; community and voluntary organisations and groups; patients and others affected by cancer in a partnership to design and deliver the transformation of services and care; to reduce variations in the availability of good care and treatment; to deliver ongoing improvements in the future; to pilot innovative approaches and to share best practice
• Further information is available at www.canceralliance.wyhpartnership.co.uk Facebook or Twitter
• Conexus Healthcare is the GP confederation (groups of GP practices) for all practices in the Wakefield District.
Formed in 2017 by Wakefield’s five GP federations, our member practices work collaboratively as part of a confederation so that we can deliver greater benefits for patients across Wakefield and:
- Hold district-wide primary care contracts
- Work together to deliver services at scale that are designed specifically within primary care, for primary care, such as the Extended Hours contract
- Support practice resilience, reduce costs and reduce pressures in practices
- Develop and redesign local care pathways to improve patient experience and generate income which can be then re-invested in patient care locally