NNUH offers young patients with Cystic Fibrosis unique exercise programme

The Norfolk and Norwich University is one of four hospital trusts in England to be offering young children with Cystic Fibrosis a unique exercise based programme, which aims to improve fitness and lung function and therefore reduce the amount of time children and teenagers have to stay in hospital for antibiotic treatment.

The programme, which is being offered in collaboration with Nuffield Health, has already been proving beneficial for our patients since its launch earlier this year and provides free personal training sessions to the patient.

NNUH Cystic Fibrosis specialist physiotherapists, Holly Brooks and Emma Larner have been working alongside Nuffield Health personal trainers, physiologists and physiotherapists to offer the programme, and support has also been given by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Dr Caroline Kavanagh, Clinical Lead for the Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis service at NNUH said: “We’re very privileged to be working with Nuffield Health to offer this programme to our young patients with Cystic Fibrosis, and since its launch earlier this year, our patients and their families have really benefited from it. Research has proved that exercise can be as effective as taking some conventional medicine, prevents deterioration of the disease and has a huge impact on the life expectancy of patients with Cystic Fibrosis.”

Declan West, 12, has been taking part in the programme for the last six months at his local Nuffield Health Gym in Norwich. He attends a weekly one-to-one one-hour personal training session, where he receives an exercise plan tailored to his needs.

Declan, who is from Costessey, has been a patient at NNUH since he was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was three weeks old and was told about the initiative by Dr Kavanagh.

Declan said: “Since my personal training sessions have started, my level of fitness has massively improved and I know this has been a big factor in why I haven’t had to spend as much time in hospital. The sessions are good fun and it’s great to learn lots of different exercises from the personal trainers.”

A typical personal training session includes a ten minute warm up on the treadmill followed by a series of exercises tailored to Declan’s needs including box jumps and medicine ball squats.

Declan’s dad Peter said: “The exercise programme has been extremely beneficial for Declan, as since starting his personal training sessions, Declan has spent considerably less time in hospital. We’re very grateful for this initiative and I want to thank both the N&N and Nuffield Health for giving Declan this opportunity.”

Dr David Booth, Chief of Division for Women’s and Children’s Division at NNUH said: “We’re really excited to be able to offer this to our young patients. It’s important to promote what benefits exercise has for those living with Cystic Fibrosis and I want to thank our team involved in securing this programme for our patients and their families.”

Wednesday 11th of October 2017 09:13:18 AM