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'Breathing Better' for World COPD Day

Today to mark #WorldCOPDDay our Pulmonary Rehabilitation Service helped to launch the Breathing Better respiratory network in partnership with Chest Heart and Stroke and The Girdwood Community Hub.

The network aims to help people living with a chronic lung condition by providing fantastic support for physical health, psychological wellbeing and social interaction from a range of respiratory specialists and aims to keep patients active and healthy so reducing the impact of the respiratory condition on their lives.

The service involves a six week pulmonary rehabilitation programme led by the physiotherapists in the belfast trust respiratory team. The programme involves nursing, occupational therapy and dietetics. Within the wider respiratory team patients also have access to a psychologist, a gp with specialist interest in respiratory and a physiologist.

Once the patients have completed pulmonary rehabilitation they are encouraged to attend a maintenance exercise programme and the Chest Heart and Stroke Taking Control Self Management Programme. This programme aims to reinforce and build on the knowledge and confidence gained at pulmonary rehabilitation and help patients implement healthy behaviours into their lives. Following on from the self management patients can then attend the monthly support group run by chest heart and stroke. The support group runs along with the maintenance class. Patients attend an exercise class run by the girdwood hub every week with every fourth week a CHS support group meeting.

The service was set up in January with the support of the girdwood community hub and gives the patients excellent ongoing support from respiratory specialists in order to help improve confidence, physical health, emotional wellbeing and social interaction. Recent audits have demonstrated a reduction in hospital admissions year on year as a result of this service. It is hoped that this model will be rolled out across the region.


Photo: left to right: Pauline Miller, respiratory project coordinator Chest Heart and Stroke; Anne Marie Marley, respiratory nurse consultant, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust; Angela Mooney , respiratory physiotherapy lead, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust; Sinead Barnes, manager the Girdwood Community hub, Belfast.