Targeted Lung Health Checks

Lung cancer is frequently diagnosed later than other cancers because often there are no signs or symptoms at an early stage. The Targeted Lung Health Check Programme is a new NHS pilot scheme designed to identify signs of cancer at an early stage when it is much more treatable – ultimately saving lives. 

This is a national NHS programme and in Norfolk and Waveney it is currently being offered as a pilot in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft only.  If it is successful then it will be gradually rolled out to the rest of Norfolk and Waveney.

The programme is being offered to people between the ages of 55 and 74 who are current or former smokers and at greater risk of lung cancer. Those eligible will be contacted by the NHS to invite them for a Lung Health Check.   

The Lung Heath Check finds out how well someone’s lungs are working and hopes to identify problems early. Most of the time no issue is found, but if cancer or an issue with a participant’s breathing or lungs is found early, treatment could be simpler and more successful. 

CT staff Joseph Okunyemiju and Sara Marques at the James Paget Hospital.

What happens during the check? 

There are two main stages to a Targeted Lung Health Check. The first is an initial assessment with a health professional and the second, if necessary, is a simple scan of the lungs. 

Initial assessment

If you are eligible, you will receive a letter or text message inviting you for an initial Lung Health Check.

The initial assessment will take place over the phone and/or meeting with a health professional.  

During the initial Lung Health Check, you will be asked some questions about your breathing, overall lung health, lifestyle and family and medical history. An assessment will be made at this appointment of your risk of Lung Cancer based on your answers.

There are three possible results from your lung health check: 

No problems found – the health professional may find nothing further to investigate and you will be discharged from the lung health check programme. We will write to your GP to tell them this. 

Referral to your GP – if problems with your breathing or lung health are found, you might be referred to your GP. The team will write to your GP so they know about the outcome. 

Offered a scan of your lungs – It you are assessed to be at higher risk of lung cancer now or in the future you will be offered a scan of your lungs (a Low Dose CT scan). The specialist nurse will help you to choose whether the test is right for you. We will write to your GP so they know about the appointment. 

Lung scan

The lung cancer scan uses a low-dose CT scanner to take a detailed picture of your lungs, to check for the early signs of lung cancer.

The appointment will last approximately 30 minutes and you’ll have a chance to ask the team at the scanner any questions.  The scan is completely painless and you will only be on the scanner for a few minutes.

If your scan results come back with signs of anything of concern, you’ll be contacted with further information and referred for further tests and treatment. 

The lung scan will take place at the James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. What is a Targeted Lung Health Check?

    Q. What is a Targeted Lung Health Check?

    A. The lung health check takes part in two stages. The first is a telephone appointment with a specially trained healthcare professional to assess your risk level. If you are found to be at high risk of having lung cancer you will be invited to have a low dose CT scan so we can capture an image of your lungs and identify if there are any issues which need further investigation or treatment.

  • Q. Where will lung health checks take place?

    Q. Where will lung health checks take place?

    A. The first phase will be carried out via phone call and/or a meeting with a health professional. If you are invited to have a CT scan these will be carried out by radiographers at the James Paget University Hospital in Great Yarmouth.

  • Q. What happens after a lung health check?

    Q. What happens after a lung health check?

    A. Should anything be identified either during the discussion with a nurse or from the CT scan, then you will be contacted by telephone or letter with the next steps. If you have any questions you can speak to the Lung Health Check team.

  • Q. Why is the Targeted Lung Health Check only being offered to smokers/past smokers in a certain age range?

    Q. Why is the Targeted Lung Health Check only being offered to smokers/past smokers in a certain age range?

    A. The Targeted Lung Health Check is currently being offered to those most at risk of getting lung cancer. Data shows those between the age of 55 and 74 who currently or previously smoked are at a higher risk than others of getting lung cancer. If you display any symptoms of lung cancer (see symptoms below) or have any concerns about your lung health you should book an appointment to see your GP straight away. Don’t wait to be invited to a Lung Health Check.

  • Q. Why isn’t it available in my area?

    Q. Why isn’t it available in my area?

    A. The Targeted Lung Health Check Programme is being rolled out across England. The areas with higher lung cancer mortality rates are being prioritised first and new locations will be available soon. If you are worried about any of the below symptoms, please see your GP as soon as possible: 

    • A persistent cough or change in your normal cough 
    • Coughing up blood 
    • Being short of breath 
    • Unexplained tiredness or weight loss 
    • An ache or pain when breathing or coughing 
    • Appetite loss 

Book your check

You will be contacted by the NHS if you’re eligible for a lung health check.

If you have been invited for a check and need to contact the team, please use the below contact details.

Great Yarmouth – email: or call 01493 744 326.

Support to stop smoking

Smokefree Norfolk provides stop smoking information and support for people living in Norfolk. Call 0800 0854 113, email: or visit their website.

Feel Good Suffolk provides information and support to stop smoking for people living in Suffolk.


Download our Great Yarmouth patient leaflet in English, Ukrainian and Portuguese.

Download our Lowestoft leaflet in English.

Please email if you require these resources in another language or alternative format.