posted on November 2nd, 2017

Breathing Better for COPD patients


Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke has launched a new campaign called ‘Breathing Better’ encouraging health professionals, GP’s and pharmacists to refer patients living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) to the charity’s Taking Control Self-Management Programme. Nearly 40,000 people are living with COPD in Northern Ireland, a startling 43% increase in the last decade. For many breathing difficulties can be severely debilitating impacting daily life causing exacerbations, repeated hospital admissions, poor sleep, anxiousness, isolation and even depression. However Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke says that while COPD can’t be cured, through careful management, people living with the disease can regain quality of life.

Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke’s Taking Control Self-Management Programme, is delivered via a weekly workshop over a six week period and is free of charge. Through the course people learn a range of self-management techniques. Many have even reported increased lung function achieved through exercise meaning they are able to better use the oxygen in the air that they breathe. As part of the ‘Breathing Better’ campaign Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke is contacting GP’s and pharmacists to highlight the Programme, information pamphlets and posters have also been created for display. Six videos featuring real life stories have also been created showcasing the difference the course, and the techniques learned through the course, can make to people’s lives.

For more information on the ‘Breathing Better’ campaign visit @nichstweet, www.nichs.org.uk or telephone 02890-320184.

Julie McGinnis, Respiratory Coordinator, Newry and Mourne, Emma Goldring and Pauline Millar, Respiratory Service’s Project Coordinator, at the Launch of ‘Breathing Better’.