Ashfield Engage, part of UDG Healthcare, has partnered with Alliance Medical to forge a new collaboration delivering the Targeted Lung Health Check (TLHC) programme on behalf of Doncaster and Bassetlaw CCG. The programme is running across 12 pilot sites across the UK and is driven by NHS England cancer care roadmap, aiming to identify and treat people with early stages of Lung cancer.
The programme is expected to run into 2023 and has already identified potential early stages of lung cancer in 52 patients, as well as 89 others with possible serious medical conditions. These individuals were all referred to the programme’s mobile CT scanning unit after completion of a cancer predication risk assessment by one of our qualified nurses.
Currently, 80 per cent of some lung cancers are not identified until stage 4, at which point survival rates are low. The Lung Health Check programme (which is open to past or current smokers aged 55-74) aims to identify lung cancer at stages 1-2.
Ian Riches, Head of Patient Solutions, Europe at Ashfield Engage, said: “Although still in its first months, the Lung Health Check programme has already carried out over 3,000 lung health checks over the phone, and referred approximately 50 per cent of those to the Alliance Medical team to have a low dose CT on the mobile scanning unit.
“It has been a tremendous effort by all stakeholders to deploy this programme and rapidly refer and check so many patients that otherwise would have likely had their cancer remain undetected until later, harder to treat stages.
“It’s a testament to all involved, that six people have been diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer and they have already been treated with surgery and chemotherapy, all of them should be able to look forward to a long and healthy life.”
The Ashfield Engage Schedulers liaise with GP practices to identify and contact eligible patients and then book them with the Ashfield Engage Nurse to complete the cancer predication risk assessment which reviews smoking history, occupation and lifestyle.
Those who have a high-risk score are then referred to a mobile unit, where low dose CT lung scans are carried out by the Alliance Medical team.
Ian continued: “Pairing the challenges of diagnosing early-stage lung cancer with the ongoing pandemic, where face-to-face assessments have not been possible, alternative solutions to identify and engage with patients have become critical. The assessment is now offered via a telephone consultation and all of the stakeholders have worked hard to make sure we can deliver this programme despite the pandemic.
“It is great to see the success of the Lung Check Programme in identifying potential early cancers, and other incidental diseases, much sooner, which will lead to better potential patient outcomes and help alleviate some stresses on long term health services.”
Each GP practice will refer eligible patients (averaging 2000 per practice) and the CT mobile scanning units will stay in agreed areas within the Doncaster area, rotating every 3 months.
Jason Page, Clinical Director of the Doncaster CCG added: “Ashfield Engage is playing a vital role in the Targeted Lung Health Check Programme. I am grateful for their hard work in making the programme successful and helping improve the health outcomes of people in Doncaster.”
In addition to the ongoing work in Doncaster, the Lung Health Check programme will also commence in Lancashire – focusing on Blackpool and Blackburn. Future areas will follow in due course.