16 June 2024

Take up offer of free lung health checks, says MP

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart is encouraging the 3,000 people in Withernsea who are being offered a free lung health check to attend their appointment.

Since November, more than 1,300 former and current smokers aged 55 to 74 years old living in the town have received telephone assessments to determine whether they may be at a heightened risk of lung cancer.

If they display signs of being at increased risk during the call, they are invited for a low-dose CT scan onboard a mobile unit in the car park of Withernsea Leisure Centre which can identify signs of cancer.

Accompanied by the South East Holderness ward councillors Lyn Healing and Sean McMaster, Mr Stuart visited the centre and met the team of nurses.

Michelle, who is the responsible assessor at the centre, explained that the appointment only took a few minutes and was completely painless.

More than 700 people have already attended a scan, which increases their chances of catching any cancerous symptoms early, potentially adding years to their life.

Whether it is in his inbox or at his street surgeries, Mr Stuart said he heard all the time that people in Withernsea wanted more health appointments in the town and these tests were part of his push for that.

He has regular meetings with local NHS executives to ask for more X-rays, dental appointments and virtual consultations to take place in Withernsea Community Hospital. He will continue to push for local diagnostic checks to save people a trip to Hull.

Michelle Clark, respiratory nurse specialist lead for NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks in Hull and East Yorkshire, said: “It was great to welcome Graham Stuart to the lung health check unit in Withernsea.

“During his visit we explained how these checks have been helping to detect lung cancer and other respiratory diseases among eligible people in the Withernsea area since October and look ahead to offering these checks in all parts of the East Riding in phases during 2024.

“Early detection of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases can make a world of difference in the effectiveness of treatment, so these lung health checks could be a lifeline for some people.”

Lyn Healing and Sean McMaster said: “We were very impressed on our visit to the lung health unit – a great facility in our town which saves us a trip to Hull.

“What came across from the lovely, hard-working staff was just how easy the consultations are. From the moment you walk through the door, you are guided every step of the way from the breathing tests to the CT scanner to ensure you receive the best care possible.

“If you have been invited to have a scan after the initial phone consultation, make sure you go. The staff are all highly trained, professional and very friendly, and will put your mind at rest.”

Mr Stuart said: “We all need to play our part to create a healthier Withernsea and that’s why I’ve been working with the local NHS to make sure we get as many diagnostic checks as possible in the town.

“I’m delighted that so many people have taken up the offer of a check so far.

“Please, if you receive a letter offering you an appointment, take up the offer. It could save your life.”