Staff from local medical charity Cobalt Health (Cobalt) met Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday 29th October as he made his first ministerial visiting the Cobalt mobile CT lung cancer screening units in Sutton, Surrey. The mobile unit and integrated patient support unit, supports the Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals/ Royal Marsden West London Cancer Alliance, with the lung cancer screening programme known as targeted lung health checks (TLHC).
The TLHC programme forms part of the NHS Long Term Plan to improve early diagnosis and survival for those diagnosed with cancer in the UK. The programme targets those most at risk of lung cancer, targeting communities with the highest rates of mortality from lung cancer. People between the ages of 55 years and 75 years who have ever smoked will be invited to a free lung check risk assessment. Those assessed as higher risk are offered a low-dose CT scan. It is estimated that approximately one cancer will be identified every day, and providing this early diagnosis leads to successful treatment.
The Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals make up the largest specialist heart and lung centre in the UK and among the biggest in Europe. The Royal Brompton has pioneered referral services to offer the fast-track lung cancer and “straight to biopsy” approach recommended by the NHS. They have a strong record of research in lung cancer, in partnership with the National Heart and Lung Institute.
Cobalt also supports the Royal Brompton lung cancer service by funding a Research Clinical Fellow, to develop several research projects in lung cancer and teaching materials to aid other centres. By supporting this post, the Charity will be helping to improve the ‘patient pathway’ from diagnosis, to supporting vital research leading to effective treatments.
Peter Sharpe, Cobalt CEO said “We are delighted that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited the Cobalt Lung Health Check mobiles, which endorses how important the programme in identifying early lung cancer. I would also like to thank Tesco who provide their supermarket carparks to enable us to deliver this life saving service in the community”.
Cobalt supports the eight NHS TLHC programme across England from Newcastle to Essex.
For more information on Cobalt’s support of targeted lung health checks go to https://www.cobalthealth.co.uk/about-us/targeted-lung-health-checks/