Lung Health Checks

Lung Health Checks

From summer 2022, our Trust will be offering people who are aged between 55 and 74, who smoke or used to smoke and have a Sandwell GP, a free NHS Lung Health Check.

Run by specially-trained nurses, lung health checks aim to find out how well your lungs are working.

If eligible you will be sent a letter inviting you to make a lung health check appointment which will take place over the phone and last around 20 minutes.

You’ll be asked some questions about your breathing and overall health and you’ll have time to talk to the nurse about any concerns you may have.

You may be offered an appointment to have a CT scan for further investigation.

This will take place in a COVID-safe mobile unit at a convenient location such as a supermarket carpark or a community centre across Sandwell making it as easy as possible for you to attend.

A lung health check can give you the reassurance that your lungs are healthy or can help find problems early – often before you notice anything is wrong.

If a problem with your breathing or lungs is found early, treatment could be simpler and more successful.

Your lungs work hard every minute so it’s really important that you get them checked out as you get older.

Why is it important to look after your lungs?

Your lungs work hard every day so you can breathe and they don’t get much rest. They carry oxygen from the air into your blood and release carbon dioxide from your blood into the air. Your body’s cells need this oxygen to work properly. Your lungs have a natural defence system to keep out dirt and germs but several things can damage this, meaning they can’t do their job as well.

There are lots of things that you can do to look after your lungs, which are just as important if you already have a lung condition, including:

  • being more active
  • eating a balanced diet
  • stopping smoking
  • making sure you have all your vaccinations if you are over 65 years old or have a long term condition
  • knowing the warning signs and symptoms of lung conditions including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) and lung cancer.

It’s also important to be able to spot when things might not quite be right. A persistent cough can be an early warning sign of lung disease. Other symptoms to look out for are feeling more breathless, wheezing, losing weight, coughing up blood or noticing chest pain. Don’t ignore or dismiss these symptoms; go and speak to your GP.