18 April 2016
A pioneering project to improve the wellbeing of people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is to be expanded across seven sites in the East and West Midlands.
The project, called ‘Making Waves’, aims to get people living with COPD more active and involved in the community.
COPD is a major health problem in the UK. It is the second most common reason for people to attend A&E and is responsible for one in 20 deaths. Its symptoms, - which include breathlessness and coughing - can cause anxiety, low self-esteem and social isolation.
The expansion of the project is led by West Midlands Regional Respiratory Improvement Programme, which is hosted by South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), in partnership with the British Lung Foundation and Coventry University.
Paul Dodd, Programme Specialist for the Regional Respiratory Programme at South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG, said: “Our model puts emphasis on patients and clinicians working together to co-create services. This simple mechanism challenges the traditional roles of the clinicians and patients. To achieve change in the system we need to act differently. The project makes the best use of the resources that already exist in the community.”
The existing pilot project in Coventry meets every week in a community setting for clinic/education sessions with social activities, such as bingo, quizzes, singing and yoga. A COPD consultant and nurse are available to answer questions, give self-management advice and see patients more formally. The group is an opportunity for people to meet others living with the same condition, so they can support each other to stay well. Voluntary sector groups also provide holistic support with a focus on self-care.
Dr Vije Rajput, Clinical Director at South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG, said: “The ‘Making Waves’ project is an innovative programme that puts people living with COPD at the centre. One of the aims of the programme is to increase people’s understanding of their condition and the impact this can have on their lives and the people close to them.
“The programme involves sharing experiences in a safe, friendly, community environment with the collaboration of professionals and community services. This approach has been shown to significantly increase people’s confidence to take control of their condition, feel more socially included, and increase their health and wellbeing.”