Help Harry Helps Others joins NHS in bid to improve early lung cancer diagnosis - The Solihull Observer

Help Harry Helps Others joins NHS in bid to improve early lung cancer diagnosis

Solihull Editorial 28th Apr, 2024   0

CANCER charity Help Harry Help Others (HHHO) has joined forces with NHS England for the first time to help improve early diagnosis of lung cancer.

The Targeted Lung Health Checks (TLHC) programme’s mobile CT scanning unit first arrived onsite at the charity’s headquarters in Stechford last April and is now a permanent fixture as the bid to maximise patient uptake and improve early diagnosis continues.

Through its collaboration with local GPs, 14,819 invitations have been sent out to high-risk individuals within the region.

Since the unit has been at the site 4,368 patients have been designated as high risk, 3,760 patients have been seen for a face-to-face lung health assessment with a nurse and 7,679 patients have been telephone triaged.

The drop-in cancer support centre, where the CT scanning unit is located, offers 20 services to support families in every aspect outside of treatment, from mental wellbeing to finances and housing.

The centre has successfully helped over 1,500 families and bridges the gap between hospital and hospice.

HHHO was founded by Georgie following the death of her Harry in 2011 who had an inoperable brain tumour.

The Sheldon youngster raised over £750,000 for cancer research in the last two years of his life.

Part of Harry’s mission was to raise awareness and drive opportunities for early diagnosis, which is key to effective treatment and increasing survival for all cancers

Charity founder Georgie Moseley, said: “This is a significant moment for HHHO, as we have wanted to work closely with the NHS for a long time.

“It means we can increase the number of services we already provide and assist in offering access to screening and health education, which ultimately enables early diagnosis, treatment and better outcomes.

“This service is vitally important and the success so far speaks for itself.

“The TLHC programme has also given us the opportunity to raise further awareness of the charity, and given us the platform to reach those who need us.

“We are delighted the NHS has recognised Harry’s charity as a working partner, and we hope this can continue going forward.”

Lung cancer is a major issue in Birmingham and Solihull, with local incidence above that of the national average.

Across the region over 45 per cent of patients are presenting with late stage cancers or as an emergency presentation, when curative treatment is often no longer possible. In comparison, the Targeted Lung Health Check programme is seeing a 77 per cent early detection rate.

Dr Sonia Ashraf, medical director for Cancer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board said: “Being located at the HHHO site has been invaluable for the implementation of this great work to identify lung cancer early.”

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