'Superb' new venue for pulmonary rehabilitation programme in Louth

Patients living with long term respiratory conditions in the Louth area are benefiting from a new venue for their pulmonary rehabilitation sessions. 

Facilities at Louth Hospice have been made available free of charge for the programme, thanks to a collaboration between St Barnabas Hospice and Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS). 

The eight-week programme is delivered by specialist respiratory therapists, nurses and assistants from LCHS, and provides exercise and education sessions twice a week to patients managing conditions such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

David Bareham, Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist at LCHS, said: "We are very pleased to be working with St Barnabas Hospice and are very grateful for the use of their superb facility. Pulmonary rehabilitation is recognised as an essential part of managing long term respiratory conditions and by hosting sessions at Louth Hospice, we can ensure patients have the choice and opportunity to access sessions locally."

During the course, patients are measured on a range of outcomes, including an incremental shuttle walk test, endurance, breathlessness, emotional status and fatigue levels. 

David added: "The first patients to complete the programme at Louth Hospice have achieved some really positive improvements in their health. Of the 20 completing, 60 per cent improved their scores on incremental shuttle walk tests, 92.3 per cent saw an increase in their endurance and 68.4 per cent reported an improvement in their breathlessness when completing daily activities. Due to the nature of the long term conditions they have, many patients often struggle to complete the course due to ill health but we achieved a high completion rate."

Nicky Ingall, General Manager North for St Barnabas Hospice, said: "We were absolutely delighted to be able to support Lincolnshire Community Health Services by offering the free use of our hospice building in Louth for their pulmonary rehabilitation programme. Our site has excellent accessibility and parking that provides a convenient location and reduces the walking distance for those living with COPD.

"This partnership has also provided us with the opportunity to support those pulmonary rehab patients and ensure that they are able to make informed choices about the care we provide. We are committed to working better together with others, to support patients and their families and carers within the local communities."

Pulmonary rehabilitation is currently available at 16 venues across Lincolnshire. If you are a patient or carer who would like more information about the programme, please talk to your GP or nurse.