"Pulmonary Rehab group meeting at Shirecliffe"

About: South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

**On Monday 23rd February 2015 we spoke to a group of people who live with lung conditions at the Shirecliffe Pulmonary Rehab group in Sheffield. Their feedback was honest and thought-provoking and inspired our first blog post about how people are experiencing services in the city. The following statements are the words that people used. We appreciate the time and honesty of group members and the support of the teams running the rehab sessions we attended. **

“Medication helps me a great deal.I wasn’t right this morning – I was struggling with my knees. I couldn’t get comfortable and my chest was starting to play-up. I thought cor blimey. I started doing what they’d taught me at pulmonary rehab for a good 10 minutes. I did the breathing techniques and it worked – in through my nose and out through my mouth. Then I felt comfortable and I started to calm down and relax. It really helped.I also learned about tapping my feet and I’ve got a book with all my exercises in. ”

“Medication is the main thing.Not coughing when I’m doing a bit of exercise gives me peace of mind.When I was feeling down, the antibiotics really helped.I live with my daughter.I always think, well, there’s somebody worse off than you. ”

“I had cancer and to see my PSA level stable feels good.Still being able to go on holiday is the main thing – I have a caravan and as long as I can go on doing that, I’m happy. ”

“Exercise helps me. When I come to pulmonary rehab I feel much better. I try to keep doing my exercises at home but things can slide, so it’s good to come here.

I do crown green bowling in the summer and it helps with bending down and lifting the weights. Winters are a bit more difficult. Sputum tests take so long to come back – often by the time the test results come back the antibiotics are half way through and I’m on the wrong ones, so we have to start again. “

“I cope quite well. I can’t go out on my own – my girls take me by car if I want to go anywhere. My daughter lives two minutes away and she does all my meals and cleaning.I do like doing jigsaw puzzles and I watch videos, I get a bit fed up with television.I can do my exercises at home just the same. I don’t have the equipment but I do what I can”

“I do DIY and gardening in small amounts and pace myself. I don’t have medication or inhalers. I get infections 2-3 times each year and the consultant has told me to see my GP but it can take up to 7 days to get an appointment. It would help if I could have quicker access to my GP. Some people have sputum pots at home with a label already on – that would help me too.I’m only on my 7th week of pulmonary rehab but it’s already giving me more tolerance and the staff are so supportive and friendly and brilliant. I’d love to keep coming here. ”

“I have sputum pots at home and that is helpful. I also have a named doctor and I can get an appointment in 2-3 days. Sometimes I call and I can get an appointment straight away or I can talk to the nurse. She taught me all the exercises. Coming to pulmonary rehab is really good too – it’s a shame it’s only 12 weeks. I’d love to do it all again. ”

“I get the bus to get here. It drops me off outside and then I’ve only got four steps to climb when I get home – it’s a good location. I used to be a panicker but coming to pulmonary rehab has helped – now I don’t panic cos I’m coming here. I do my exercises on the edge of the bed and that helps me so I don’t panic now. ”

“I was in hospital five times with pneumonia last year. I have COPD and other conditions. I’m very independent – too independent really but some mornings I’m panting and it can take more than twenty minutes to get dressed. Sometimes my husband sees me with my head on the table and he knows I’m not right. I don’t think there’s enough co-ordination between doctors and nurses – they’re always asking about my oxygen when I go into hospital. I have steroids and antibiotics in the house all the time and when I’m starting to get poorly I start myself on them, call my GP and say I’ll see you in a week. I’ve had a stair-lift put in and that makes it much easier for me. ”

“Most GPs do PX standby therapy. In the talks at pulmonary rehab we discuss the medications used in respiratory conditions, and encourage patients to be assertive - if no rescue medications are available, to ring and say that a HCP has said I need to be seen urgently, otherwise I’ll need a home visit. If a patient frequently exacerbates I will contact the GP on the patients’ behalf if we think that stand-by therapy will benefit them. ”

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