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Bentilee grandad urges others to have targeted lung health checks

When ex-smoker Jeffrey Crompton went for a lung health check he thought nothing was wrong but within 10 days he was having surgery to remove lung cancer.

The 68-year-old was contacted as part of a lung cancer health checks programme, which reviews how well lungs are working in current and former smokers aged 55-74 across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Jeffrey, who smoked for 50 years before quitting five years ago, was called by specialists and given an appointment for a breathing test and a CT scan. Within 10 days of the CT scan identifying cancerous changes, he was having successful surgery at Royal Stoke University Hospital last year.

Jeffrey said: “Be willing to go and have a lung health check, even if you think there’s nothing wrong. It’s only an hour or two of your time and if there’s nothing wrong, they’ll tell you, and if there is and it’s early enough, then after a week of inconvenience they’ve saved your life.”

The grandfather-of-five has now made a full recovery and ended his retirement to return to work as an engineer five days a week.

Specialists will call or write to people aged 55-74 to invite them for targeted lung health checks if GP records show they are a current or former smoker.

From there they will have initial tests and be advised on further scans or treatment if necessary.

Anyone who has not been contacted but thinks they meet the criteria can call 01782 671554 or 01782 671553 and self-refer online here:

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones Chief Medical Officer at NHS Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care board, said: “Jeffrey’s experience shows just how important these checks can be because there are usually no signs or symptoms of lung cancer in the early stages. We are urging everyone who qualifies to have these checks to provide peace of mind or ensure treatment can start if required.”

The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent lung health checks programme is one of 45 similar initiatives in England. It is hoped these will be rolled out nationally from 2030.

More information is on a targeted lung health checks patient leaflet on the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust website here.

  • Video: Jeffrey talking about his journey is on YouTube here.

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