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Lung patients to act as ‘buddies’ to help others through rehab

Following the success of an innovative rehabilitation programme for patients with lung diseases at Solihull Hospital, many who have benefited from these sessions will be returning to act as ‘buddies’ to help new patients.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a combination of exercise and education for people with long-term lung conditions, provided by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Solihull Hospital. Physical exercise sessions are provided alongside with discussion and advice on lung health – all designed to help people manage the symptoms of their condition. Rehab lasts eight weeks, with two sessions twice a week at venues in and around Solihull helping patients to improve their general fitness, cope better with feeling out of breath, feel stronger and fitter and able to do more.

Former rehab patient Leila Meechan, who is now a volunteer ‘buddy’ for the programme, said: “Because of the excellent treatment we have had, we want to give something back. We will be working alongside the pulmonary rehabilitation team and acting as ‘buddies’ to new patients joining the programme.”

Helen Beadle, specialist physiotherapist, said “Our new volunteers will offer a unique perspective to patients supporting them through the programme, helping to maintain morale as they have been through the pulmonary rehabilitation classes themselves and can offer that first- hand experience.”

If you have already completed the programme and would like to consider volunteering, please contact the pulmonary rehabilitation team at Solihull Hospital on 0121 424 5446.

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