The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust to host event at BreathingSpace to mark World COPD Day

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust (TRFT) is marking World COPD Day on Wednesday 16 November with an event at BreathingSpace, the Trust’s hub for patients with respiratory conditions.

TRFT Blue logo

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust (TRFT) is marking World COPD Day on Wednesday 16 November with an event at BreathingSpace, the Trust’s hub for patients with respiratory conditions.

The information event will take place between 10:30am – 2:00pm and is a chance for all – patients, family, friends, caregivers and professionals – to learn about how to manage chronic respiratory conditions. Everyone is welcome to attend.  ­

There will be taster sessions for pulmonary rehabilitation and tai chi, educational talks on COPD, spirometry and lung health, and a performance by the Trust’s very own BreathingSpace choir. A number of community groups will be there, including: Baywater Oxygen Services, Breathe Easy, Functional Fitness, Get Healthy Rotherham, IAPT, Medical Physics and Respiratory Physiology, Research and Development, Social Prescribing, Speech and Language Therapy and Yoga Sanctuary.

Also in attendance will be Rotherham United legends Ronnie Moore & John Breckin, who will ‘officially’ open the refurbished gym. The club’s community team will be hosting a stall of their own and the ‘Millers’ have donated a signed shirt to be raffled before the event (the proceeds of which will go towards artwork in the gym).

BreathingSpace is a relaxed environment with purpose-built facilities and experts on hand to provide a range of patient-tailored services. Education is a key function, allowing patients to better understand their condition, follow best practice and empowering them to self-manage their condition.

Patients have shared that the person-centred approach and community feel aids the management of their chronic condition and helps them meet their goals. Geoffrey Davis, 77, who has been to BreathingSpace previously for help managing his conditions said: “BreathingSpace are brilliant: a lifeline in fact! You can communicate everything with them. If I’ve got a problem, I tell them and we work it out. They manage and tailor things for you. I have a plan for exercises at home too. The first time I was referred, we were going away to Whitby. I said “I want to be able to walk the steps up to the abbey” and I did it! I wouldn’t have been able to without them.”

Eric Rawson, 61, is coming to the end of his first time at BreathingSpace. He said: “I’ve had my breathing problems for 20 years. I was a coal miner for 16 years and then a fur­nace man for 24. I have old work injuries to my collarbone and neck that I struggle with and I’ve got asthma too. They’ve taught me how to clear my chest before I take my inhaler, breathing exercises to take more oxygen in and they’ve shown me neck and shoulder exercises to help with my injuries. I’ve enjoyed it being here: the community gives me confidence to keep going because everyone is the same as you.”

Ameena Hussain, Physiotherapist at TRFT commented: “With our therapy, we are hands on, we educate and show techniques. Tailored programmes are written for each individual based on past medical histories, what their goals are and what they want to be able to achieve. Patients build rapports, motivate each other and exercise together. Coming here and meeting people with similar symptoms or conditions is really good for them. Some people think when they are diagnosed “there’s nothing I can do about it” but we find a lot of patients walk away from sessions here feeling motivated.”

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the name given to a group of lung diseases including bronchitis and emphysema. They make it difficult for people to empty air out of their lungs because the airways have been narrowed. Rotherham, because of its industrial past, smoking prevalence and social deprivation, has a higher burden of respiratory disease than the national average. 2.9% of Rotherham’s population (or 7,938 people) are diagnosed with COPD. This is 1% higher than the national average in England and 0.4% more than across the Yorkshire region. 32/33 of Rotherham’s boroughs are above the county average and in the most affected boroughs, prevalence rises as high as 3.9%. As of 2021, Rotherham accounts for 0.6% of COPD cases in England.