20 September 2022

CNWL’s COPD and Home Oxygen Service presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in September 2022.

The congress, taking place in Barcelona, is an occasion when respiratory experts from around the world come together to discuss the latest scientific and clinical advances across the field of respiratory medicine.

The team in Camden care for patients with complex chronic respiratory disease, and one of the services they deliver is pulmonary rehabilitation (PR).

PR is an exercise and education programme designed for people living with lung conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It aims to reduce symptom burden (breathlessness), risk of flare-ups and hospitalisation, whilst improving quality of life. PR courses include aerobic exercise, resistance training and lifestyle support, with patients coming together in groups to take part in activities.

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Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, in person delivery had to cease, but it was paramount that the programme continued. Finding a new way to adapt this service, a remote PR programme was developed, one that could be performed using video calls in a patient’s own home. 

As part of CNWL's Digital Empowerment and Inclusion Project the team secured tablets that could be loaned to patients who did not have a device, as well as developing technology support. They offered referrals to volunteers for 1-2-1 support and established a hotline, manned by a dedicated volunteer, running at the beginning of classes to help with issues getting online.

At the congress, the team presented research on their remote PR programme, which demonstrates it is effective in improving patients’ health outcomes. More details and the findings from this study can be found below. 

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Heidi Ridsdale, Clinical Lead and Manager, Camden COPD and Home Oxygen Service said: 

We’re thrilled to be able to showcase the results of the teams’ work at such a world-renowned event. This is an opportunity to not only highlight how we continued to deliver care through the pandemic, but to also discuss what pulmonary rehabilitation may look like in the future and the possibilities digital delivery may give us to build more accessible services.” 

Feedback on the programme from participants includes:

“I wish I had started sooner! I am feeling so much better and feel like I can do more day to day.”

“Pulmonary Rehabilitation has taught me how important and effective breathing exercises can be helping me get around. I use them all the time now when out and about.”

“Everything has changed since I started exercising! I am getting so much quicker at walking I’ve had to start leaving later or I get there too early.”

For more information, visit the service page.