Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation incorporates an individualised programme of physical training combined with targeted education for people who are functionally disabled by breathlessness. It aims to reduce symptoms and disability and to improve independence in people with lung disease.

At NNUH we have been running a pulmonary rehabilitation programme for 20 years. The programme is provided by a multi-professional team with involvement of the patient and family according to individual needs. Patients attend for a 2 hour session every week for eight weeks at the Willow Centre, Willowcroft Way, Cringleford and are taught exercises which can be undertaken in the home.

Although most of the evidence for pulmonary rehabilitation is for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the benefits may also apply to patients with breathlessness from other respiratory diseases. Rehabilitation should be considered at all stages of disease progression when symptoms are present and not at a predetermined level of impairment. This would usually be MRC dyspnoea grade 3 or above.

Patients should have confirmed clinical diagnosis and optimal medical management and should be motivated to attend the group sessions and to improve their condition. Patients who are unable to walk or who have unstable cardiovascular conditions are not suitable.

A short film has been produced called “An introduction to Pulmonary Rehabilitation” for anybody considering Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and gives an excellent insight into what is involved and what previous attendees have thought about it.

At NNUH, referrals can be made via ICE.

For further information, please contact Respiratory Nurse Specialist Paula Browne on 01603 289779.