People who are most at risk of developing lung disease will be able to get tested at supermarket carparks in Mansfield and Ashfield later this year.
NHS England has awarded more than £5m to fund ‘Targeted Lung Health Checks’ for local people who are most at risk of developing lung diseases including cancer.
People who are aged between 55 and 74 with a history of smoking will be offered a health check at their local GP and a low-dose CT scan at a mobile unit if appropriate.
Across Mansfield and Ashfield more than 8,300 people will be invited for lung health checks at their local GP and it’s likely that 1,850 will be referred for a CT scan.
Mansfield and Ashfield CCG is set to receive a total of £5.2m over four years that will fund lung scanning trucks as well as a team to carry out the scans and diagnostics.
Dr Thilan Bartholomeux, Mid Nottinghamshire clinical lead for cancer, said: “Today’s funding announcement is great news for local patients.
“We are delighted that Mansfield and Ashfield have been selected amongst the first areas to test the approach on a larger scale.
“We know from the results in Nottingham that offering scans in places people visit regularly like supermarkets is an excellent way to catch lung cancer and other respiratory diseases sooner.
“This project has the potential to save many lives in our local community.”
The project is one of 10 schemes in the country awarded a share of £70m to carry out health checks and lung scans over the next four years.
NHS England’s recent long-term plan is to diagnose three out of four people with cancer at an early stage by 2028 – up from around half now.
The targeted screening will help improve survival rates in some of the areas with the highest death rates from lung cancer.
National statistics for cancer survival highlight that one in five cancer patients in Mansfield and Ashfield are only diagnosed after an emergency admission to hospital.
The survival rates of emergency admission are worse than routine referrals as patients are more likely to have more advanced and difficult to treat cancers.
Mansfield miner’s pension campaigner Mick Newton welcomed the move. He said: “It is a massive improvement - in coalfield communities the only detection has been X rays which do not pick up a lot of lung diseases.
“These scans are very beneficial and will lead to improved detection rates of asbestosis pneumoconiosis and emphysema. The tests should be rolled out across all coalfield communities so people can claim for compensation before they die.”