Pulmonary rehabilitation - treatment and education programme for people with lung conditions

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Pulmonary rehabilitation (often called pulmonary rehab or PR)  has been described as the most important intervention for respiratory patients (after giving up smoking), since it can have a greater impact on patients’ lung health, breathlessness and quality of life than any medication. 


How Pulmonary Rehab Can Help You
Animated video all about pulmonary rehabilitation and what it has to offer people with respiratory conditions.


What is pulmonary rehabilitation (PR)?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a specialised, structured course for people with respiratory conditions run by the NHS Highland physiotherapists. The course provides education about the your respiratory condition and managing breathlessness, it teaches you breathing and chest clearance techniques,  and involves gentle exercises to help build up your fitness so you can complete everyday tasks without getting breathless.

Patients say they have found these classes very valuable and that the course had greatly improved their condition management and breathlessness. 

Referrals to pulmonary rehabilitation

If your respiratory condition is having a significant impact on your day to day life, you may be referred for pulmonary rehabilitation.  Face-to-face pulmonary rehab classes are provided across the Highlands - however, due to our geography, there is often quite a long waiting time for classes, and you may have to travel a considerable distance to attend them.  Provision of pulmonary rehab has been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

Making pulmonary rehab more accessible for all who would benefit

We are now hoping to make pulmonary rehab more accessible across the Highlands, possibly by providing a continuous rolling programme of online pulmonary rehabilitation classes, using the Near Me video consultancy technology.   If you have been referred for face-to-face classes you will be able to join the online classes while you are waiting, or instead of attending face-to-face.  In addition, if places are available, anybody with a respiratory condition which is beginning to impact on their day to day life and who feels they might benefit, will be able to self-refer for these online classes.  

Online classes will provide all the same education and exercise opportunities provided by face-to-face classes, and even some time for support and chat among participants. Before joining the online classes you will have a one-to-one session with a respiratory physiotherapist (either face-to-face or online) and we ask that you purchase a pulse oximeter so that you can check your blood oxygen saturation before and during exercise. 

Once classes are up and running, it will be possible for you to request a place on the online pulmonary rehabilitation classes by clicking on a link on this page. So, watch this space.

If you are unsure about using Near Me, please contact AbilityNet for technical support on: 0800 048 7642 during office hours, or email: enquiries@abilitynet.org.uk

High Life Highland's Active Health Dynamic Wellbeing Classes

High Life Highland is collaborating with health and social care professionals in NHS Highland and other third sector organisations to deliver a new programme, called ‘Active Health – Dynamic Wellbeing’.

The programme is designed to support people who may be experiencing vulnerabilities connected to their health and wellbeing.

The programme is available to people with a wide range of long-term health conditions such as, but not limited to, cancer, chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, respiratory conditions, type 2 diabetes, neurological conditions, and people at risk of falling.

High Life Active Health Classes

For more information visit the High Life Highland website

Sources of more information about pulmonary rehabilitation


What is pulmonary rehabilitation - Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS)

What is pulmonary rehabilitation - My lungs, my life

Essential guide to pulmonary rehabilitation - Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS)

The benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation - British Lung Foundation (BLF)

Why you should do pulmonary rehabilitation - NHS Ayrshire & Arran video

Pulmonary rehabilitation - NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde video

Exercise for severe COPD - NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde video


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