Publish date: 24 October 2023

An advertising campaign has launched in north London to encourage people to take up a free NHS lung health check, provided by UCLH. Campaign posters will be on a number of bus shelters in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington, selected underground stations and online until the end of November. 

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Ivan White (pictured), aged 71 from Cockfosters, who had his lung health check earlier this year, is one of the people in the advertising campaign. He said: “I want to stay fit and healthy as long as I can. When my invitation arrived, I didn’t have to think twice. This was a great opportunity to get checked out, and to see if there’s any lasting damage from my smoking all those years ago.”

A lung health check is free, quick and painless. Invitations are sent to people registered with a local GP, aged 55 to 74, who smoke or used to smoke. The letter gives an appointment time when the person will be called by the lung health check team. During the phone call information is gathered about a person’s health and smoking history. Depending on the answers they may or may not be invited to have a follow-up appointment with a nurse and possibly a low dose CT scan at either University College Hospital or Finchley Memorial Hospital. Lung cancer can be treated much more successfully if caught early.

“We want to do everything we can to make sure that everyone who is eligible attends their lung health check,” says Arjun Nair, UCLH consultant radiologist and joint clinical lead for the national Targeted Lung Health Checks (TLHC) programme. “Unfortunately, in the early stages of lung cancer there are usually no symptoms, so a person will be unaware of a problem. 14,000 people in North Central London have already had a lung health check, but we can help a lot more and we hope this advertising campaign will raise awareness and encourage people to respond to their invitation letter.” 

As well as the advertising campaign, local community and voluntary sector organisations are being asked to help spread the word about having the check by sharing information with their networks and neighbourhoods and by organising events where the lung health checks can be explained and discussed.

UCLH is the local provider of TLHC in North Central London. The TLHC programme is managed by the NHS North Central London Cancer Alliance. 

Find out more about having a lung health check.