Targeted Lung Health Check

What is a Lung Health Check?

Text written in yellow which says Breathe Easy

A Lung Heath Check is offered free to people aged 55-74 who have ever smoked, as part of the national NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Programme. It finds out how well your lungs are working and aims to rule out any serious conditions. Often, early problems with the lungs do not cause any symptoms, so it is important to attend even if you are fit and healthy.

Most of the time nothing is found, but if there are any problems with how your lungs are working, such as cancer, finding out early can make treatment simpler and more successful.

A Lung Health Check also aims to promote healthier lifestyles with advice about stopping smoking.

Lung checks are by invitation only. Our Targeted Lung Health Check team will send out invites via letter. There are three parts to a lung check:

  1. Your telephone appointment: a chat to decide if a lung check is right for you
  2. A face-to-face appointment: to talk in more detail about your health and decide if a scan is right for you
  3. A quick, low dose CT lung scan: if a scan is right for you, you will have this at the same time and location as your face-to-face appointment

A logo which says Targeted Lung Health Check

Targeted Lung Health Checks

Watch our video to find out more about your free Targeted Lung Health Check. This is available in 17 different languages.

More videos are available on our YouTube playlist.

Why should I have a lung health check?

A patient tells his story of how a free Targeted Lung Health Check helped to save his life by finding cancer early so he could be treated.

How do I get a lung check?

If you are aged 55-74 and are a smoker, or have previously been a smoker, we’ll send you a letter when it is your turn, inviting you to an initial telephone appointment with the lung health check team. It's really important you have this.

Your letter will have the NHS logo on it and will be from the Targeted Lung Health Check team, sent on behalf of your GP.

Some people who have never smoked may also be sent the invitation letter. Please phone us on 020 3839 8911 if you receive this letter, and we can double-check whether a Targeted Lung Health Check appointment is right for you.

Person smiling

How does the phone appointment work?

We will call you at the time on your letter to discuss whether a lung health check face-to-face appointment and lung scan are right for you. If so, an appointment will be booked for you to meet with a nurse and, if it is right for you, a low dose CT scan of the lungs.

We’ll make every effort to call you at the scheduled time, and we usually manage to phone within 10 minutes of when we say, but please be aware that the time may vary slightly. If this is inconvenient, please phone us and we can reschedule. The number we call from may come up as an unknown number on your phone, or it may give the number we are calling from, which is 020 3839 8911.


Person smiling and on the phone

Need to change the date or time?

If the appointment time is inconvenient and you’d like to change it, please phone the freephone number (which will be on the letter), which is 020 3839 8911.  You can call for free from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, or from 8am to 12 noon on Saturday. We may be able to assess you when you phone, or it may be that an alternative time for a phone discussion is arranged.

If you don’t want to proceed with a lung health check appointment, please phone 020 3839 8911 to discuss this in more detail.

If you need a bit more time during your appointment for interpreter assistance or you require extra time for explanations then please let the bookings team know as we are happy to provide a double appointment. Call us on 020 3839 8911 or email

Person holding a sheet of paper

Where is the face-to-face lung check?

We are currently inviting people from Barking & Dagenham and Tower Hamlets for their lung health check.

If, after you have your telephone appointment, you are invited for a face-to-face appointment, you can find the details of where this will take place by clicking on the relevant link below:

Barking & Dagenham

Tower Hamlets

Please note that a face-to-face appointment may not be appropriate for you. This will be discussed with you on your telephone appointment.

Lung Health Check Trucks

Key things about your lung check:

  • You’ll be asked some questions about your breathing, overall lung health, lifestyle, and family and medical history.
  • Your height and weight will be measured, and your blood pressure may be taken.
  • Whether or not you’re offered a lung scan will depend on the outcome of your face-to-face appointment.
  • We work out your risk from your lifestyle, medical and family history. The nurse will help you to decide if a scan is right for you.
  • If it is appropriate for you to have a scan, this will take place straight away at the same location
  • Your privacy and the confidentiality of your data are extremely important to us. Please read the Targeted Lung Health Check Privacy Notice for more information.
lung cancer testing machine

Your free lung scan

When you come in for your appointment, if you’re asked to have a scan, this will take place at the same location, in a mobile scanning unit.

  • The appointment will last about 30 minutes.
  • Your actual scan takes less than a minute.
  • You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and remove any metal objects, such as jewellery or belt buckles.
  • The scan is safe as it’s a low-dose scan.
X-ray of chest

What happens next

  • Results of your lung health check appointment will be sent to you and your GP within 2-4 weeks.
  • If anything abnormal is found at the appointment, or on the scan, you’ll be contacted by a nurse to discuss the results and what the next steps in your management will be.
  • If an appointment at the chest clinic is then needed, this will be arranged for you at King George Hospital, Ilford.
sheet of x-rays

Where can I get support to stop smoking?

For advice on information on how to stop smoking, click here.

For local services in Barking and Dagenham, click here.

Person smoking

Please read out Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to find out more

See our FAQs