Past and current smokers in Fareham and Gosport are being invited to an NHS lung health check in a drive to improve earlier diagnosis of lung cancer and save more lives.

The initiative means more than 31,000 past and current smokers aged 55 to 74 across the areas will be invited to a lung health check by Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust over the next 2 years.

It follows success of the Targeted Lung Health Check programme in Portsmouth, which has seen more than 9,000 city residents scanned in the last 18 months.

Of those scanned, 100 have been referred to the lung cancer service and 80% of those diagnosed were found at Stage 1 and 2, when the cancer can be cured. Prior to the programme only 38% were found at this earlier and more treatable stage.

People diagnosed with lung cancer at the earliest stage are nearly 20 times more likely to survive for five years than those whose cancer is caught late.

Targeted Lung Health Check programme lead and respiratory consultant at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, Dr Alex Hicks said: “Getting a free NHS lung health check is really important and we would encourage anyone between the age of 55 and 74 in Fareham and Gosport, who have ever smoked, to take up the offer.

“Lung cancer can have few symptoms in the early stages. This means that people often don’t seek medical help until tumours become more advanced.

“This check takes minutes but it can save your life. We have seen fantastic results in Portsmouth over the last 18 months. Many of our patients, who have had no issues found, have told us about the peace of mind it has given them, and those patients that do require treatment are grateful it has been caught early and therefore is more treatable.”

Over the next two years, invites will be sent out to all those eligible and registered with a GP surgery in Fareham and Gosport. You will also be sent text reminders.

Lung health check invites will be sent out in yellow envelopes to those eligible, starting with Bridgemary Medical Centre. You can find out when you will be sent your invite via the schedule on the PHU website –

The lung health check takes place in two stages. The first is an initial phone assessment with a specially trained health care advisor. If the assessment finds the person to be at high risk, they will be offered a health check with a nurse and a low dose CT scan of the lungs.

The CT scanner will be located in the car park of Asda Supermarket on Newgate Lane in Fareham.

Dr Paul Howden, GP at The Whiteley Surgery and Clinical Lead for Planned Care and Medicines Management at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board said: “We are delighted that the Targeted Lung Health Check programme is rolling out to Fareham and Gosport. This is a good opportunity for those who are eligible to get a free quick check in the community.

“We are aiming to get as many people as possible to take up the offer of a lung health check because it really can save lives.

“If you do have any worrying symptoms now or have been coughing for three weeks or more, please do contact your GP and get checked out.”

Stop smoking advice and support will also be offered to support current smokers as this is one of the biggest things people can do to reduce their chance of developing lung cancer.

For more information on the Targeted Lung Health Check programme please visit