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Basildon residents offered free lung cancer checks

17th May 2024
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

Residents in Basildon can now benefit from free NHS lung health checks.

The Targeted Lung Health Checks programme offers free check-ups for smokers and ex-smokers aged between 55 and 74. Basildon is the latest area in Essex that will benefit from the programme because of the higher-than-average number of lung cancer cases and later diagnoses.

In Basildon almost 30,000 people meet the criteria and will be receiving an invite over the coming months. This number is based on GP records for smokers and ex-smokers who fall within the programme’s age range.

Dr Boye Tayo, Local GP and Clinical Director for Basildon & Brentwood, NHS Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board, said: “Many people in the UK aren’t sure about what the symptoms of lung cancer are. This lack of awareness is one of the reasons why so many people with lung cancer are diagnosed at a later stage.

“We know if lung cancer is caught early, treatment is possible and people can go on to live life to the fullest. The difficulty has been finding it at those early stages. If you live in Basildon and are eligible, make sure you take up these potentially life-saving health checks.”

Lung health checks allow health professionals to detect lung cancers and other lung conditions before there are recognisable symptoms. This will allow people to receive treatment much earlier than they would have before, bringing huge benefits for the local population and potentially saving lives.

Thurrock was one of the first locations across the country to benefit from the lung health checks. Since the checks began in Thurrock, 55 cancers have been found, 39 in early stages. In Southend, the next area to introduce lung health checks in mid and south Essex, 64 cancers were found, with 40 diagnosed in the early stages.

Existing and former smokers aged between 55 and 74 across Basildon will be invited to have a free lung health check with a lung health check nurse, initially over the phone. If deemed high-risk, they will be offered a low dose CT scan at a later date on a state-of-the-art mobile unit.

Only those meeting the criteria and with an up-to-date GP record will be invited to take part in the programme. If you believe you are eligible, make sure your GP practice has an accurate record of whether you smoke or have smoked in the past.

For more information about the programme please call 0300 300 1557 or visit