This service is only available at St Richard’s Hospital.
If you have a lung condition such as; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pulmonary hypertension, and cystic fibrosis, our services help you gain strength, reduce symptoms of anxiety or depression and improve your quality of life.
Our pulmonary rehabilitation programme at St Richard’s Hospital is run by a team of professionals from across the hospital. Our team includes:
- occupational therapist
- senior support worker
- therapy technical instructor
How we help
Being active and regularly exercising is good for everyone. If you have a lung condition it can help improve your breathing and fitness.
Our seven-week supervised and home exercise course, helps you to improve fitness. We design and tailor the programme to your individual needs. Our multi-disciplinary team also run education sessions to give you information and advice.
Other benefits include:
- improved muscle strength
- improved ability to fight infections
- improved sleep quality
- improved fitness and endurance.
What happens in our classes?
The classes will last approximately 2 hours.
The first hour of each session is an individually-designed exercise class consisting of:
- Warm up – gentle body movements to prepare your muscles, joints, heart and mind for activity
- Cardiovascular – exercise that raises your heart rate and makes you breathless
- Strengthening – exercise using weights or resistance to build your muscles
- Cool down – gentle movement and stretches to reduce your heart rate and allow your body to return to normal
The second hour is dedicated to education; this is provided by various healthcare professionals covering a whole range of subjects.
Talks take place in an informal setting and give you the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the topics with the other members of the class. Subjects covered include:
- Chest clearance / how to manage a exacerbation
- Your lung condition explained
- Anxiety and relaxation
- Energy conservation
- Breathlessness management
- Eating well with your lung condition
- Respiratory medications explained
- Benefits of exercise
- Advice on pacing
- Follow up exercise options
What if I need help, but don’t want to attend the classes?
St Richard’s Hospital also runs an outpatient respiratory physiotherapy service where people can be seen on a 1:1 basis to get advice on managing a respiratory condition and on exercising safely at home.
Our occupational therapist can also see patients on a one-to-one basis, offering support to those who breathlessness is affecting their daily life. We set personal goals with you to work towards achieving and help with equipment provision, energy conversation and managing feelings of anxiety and low moods.
Asthma and Lung UK have designed videos for people living with long-term lung conditions, which you can do at home.
Our pulmonary rehabilitation and respiratory teams can also make occupational therapy referrals.
What happens when I have finished the course?
The benefits you gain from attending pulmonary rehabilitation classes need to be maintained at home.
Once you have finished the course you will need to continue exercising, carry on using the techniques you have learned and keep following the advice you have been given.
Options for continuing exercise are discussed in the course and arrangements for onwards referrals can be completed by your physiotherapist.
Referrals to our service
Referrals to our service can be completed by your GP, practice nurse, hospital consultant, physiotherapist and most other health practitioners. You are not able to self-refer.
Who can be referred to us?
- Patients with chronic respiratory disease – asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, COPD (including those with MRC dyspnoea 2 if referred), restrictive diseases including but not exclusively interstitial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis and other chronic progressive lung conditions
- Patients with chest wall disease
- Patients pre and post thoracic surgery or procedure including lung transplant
- Patients who have recently had an exacerbation of COPD requiring a hospital admission.
Before starting our programme you will need an individual assessment with the pulmonary rehabilitation multidisciplinary team. This assessment appointment will be arranged when we call you to discuss your referral.
Assessments take place on Thursday mornings in the Munro Unit at St Richard’s Hospital.
During your appointment, you will be assessed by a physiotherapist, a member of the occupational therapy team, a nurse and a dietitian if needed.
We will also discuss your condition, check your general physical and emotional health and assess your physical ability. The assessment will take around 2 and a half hours.
You will then be offered a programme start date as soon as is convenient for you.
Referral information for GPs
All patients must be referred to the pulmonary rehabilitation service by a consultant or GP. Please visit our professionals section for our GP referral form.GP referral form
Where we are
Our pulmonary rehabilitation team is based in the physiotherapy department at St Richard’s Hospital.