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Pulmonary Rehabilitation

A programme of exercise, education and support.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

About the service

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program of exercise, education, and support to help you learn to breathe - and function - at the highest level possible.

Benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation:

  • help to improve your muscle strength, so you can use the oxygen you breathe more efficiently
  • improve your general fitness and help you to cope better with feeling out of breath
  • help you to feel to stronger and fitter, and able to do more.

What happens in a pulmonary rehabilitation course?

You'll work with our team of specialists through a programme of exercise and information; we'll support you to become fitter and encourage you to self-manage your condition.

Before the programme starts we will find out:

  • what you can and cannot do;
  • how activity affects you; and
  • how you are feeling and coping with your condition.

The programme runs for six weeks with two sessions a week for up to 18 people at one time. People attend for two hours; approximately one hour of exercise and one hour of advice, education and discussion.

Topics might include:

  • breathing techniques to use when recovering your breath, or during physical activity or if you feel anxious
  • why exercise is so important for people with lung conditions
  • how to manage stress
  • healthy eating
  • how to use your inhalers and other medicines
  • what to do when you are unwell.

All patients receive a comprehensive assessment before being accepted onto the programme as well as a pre-discharge review.

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Who is this service for?

For adults with a chronic lung disease who feel limited by breathlessness. There are no age limits but there are exclusion criteria and patients need to have their own transport. 

Exclusion criteria:

  • Unstable cardiac conditions
  • Severe cognitive deficit
  • Cancer with poor prognosis
  • Psychiatric disease affecting memory/behaviour/compliance

We work with our colleagues in the Home Oxygen team and provide mobile oxygen assessments as part of the programme.

If you are a healthcare professional and need to refer a patient to the Pulmonary Rehabilitation service, please visit the Joint Clinic Booking page.

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Case studies

Mr J, age 68, diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 

Mr J was complaining of increasing breathlessness. He was reducing activity levels because of his fear of his breathlessness and thinking that this was harmful.

He didn’t feel he had any support to manage his condition and didn’t feel that he had been given any information relating to his condition, his medication or how to use his inhalers. He also didn't have a plan of how to manage his condition if it worsened.

At the end of the programme Mr J was able to walk further and had shown marked improvement in quality of life measures.

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