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Pulmonary Rehabilitation

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Pulmonary rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a treatment programme for those who experience shortness of breath every day.  It helps Patients to cope with how their chest condition affects their day to day life.

It is commonly recommended for people with Bronchiectasis, Pulmonary Fibrosis and COPD (including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma). People that have these conditions usually complain of persistent shortness of breath, cough, phlegm and chest tightness.

The aims of pulmonary rehabilitation are:

  1. To improve fitness so patients can do more of the things they want to do without feeling so tired and breathless. As a result they can complete their day to day tasks more easily
  2. To learn more about their chest condition and how to manage it. This is done through informal teaching sessions that will allow the chance to raise questions. The topics covered include:
  • What is COPD/ILD?
  • The role of exercise
  • Breathlessness
  • Clearing secretions 1
  • Clearing secretions 2
  • Pacing and energy conservation
  • Goal setting
  • Social Services and Carer Support
  • Managing stress
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Nutrition and hydration
  • Holidays and travel
  • Equipment
  • Self-management of COPD
  • What happens after PRP finishes

The programme

The programme lasts for eight weeks. At the start of the programme patients receive an information booklet with a timetable to take home. The programme consists of two sessions per week, each session lasting about three hours.

What will happen?

Patients are assessed prior to starting the programme. This allows for an exercise programme tailored to that person based on how fit they are before starting the programme.

Part of each session will be spent exercising. The exercises are simple and a member of staff will be there at all times to adjust the exercises to suit each person to improve their fitness. Each exercise is done at the patient’s own pace.

The second component is an informal learning and discussion session. The aim is to help people understand more about their breathing problem and how to cope with it. The booklet issued at the start of the programme covers all the talks and goes into more detail and can be referred back to at any time.

In addition to the two sessions a week arrangements will be made to encourage exercising at home. These exercises are explained beforehand at the start of the programme so participants can speak with staff about concerns before trying them at home.

Some patients feel that although they would like to benefit from exercising, they do not want to attend an exercise programme due to various reasons. If this is the case then the team is able to start patients off at home with exercising and encouragement to carry on at home.

Maintenance programme

Pulmonary Rehabilitation does not end when on completion of the programme. Exercise at home or at a local Gym is encouraged. The team have put together a Maintenance Programme to help with this. It will give the opportunity for continued exercising, under continued supervision of someone who has an understanding of the patient’s breathing problem to help encourage to improvement in fitness. The maintenance classes are held at HALO Leisure.

Breathe Easy Support Group

Breathe Easy is a national support group for people with breathing problems. The support group is run by members themselves with the support of the British Lung Foundation (BLF). This enables each group the opportunity to support each other as they see fit. Most groups usually organise social events and learning activities of interest to their members.

The group meets from 2pm to 4pm on the last Tuesday of every month, at Bartestree Village Hall, Ledbury Road, Hereford, HR1 4BY. The group does not meet in January or February.

Please contact the Midlands office before going to your first meeting by telephoning 0300 3030253 or emailing: midlands@blf-uk.org. They will give you the group's contact details so that you can check the meeting is on.

To contact the Pulmonary Rehab Team call the Hospital Switchboard on 01432 355444 and ask for extension 5251.

© Wye valley NHS Trust 2019