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Health Junction in the News
HealthJunction in the News

Singing sessions to help COPD sufferers in the Liverpool region
by Alex Longthorne. Published by Click Liverpool Press on Mon 19 Nov 2012 13:58 Wirral residents suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) will be singing their way to improved health under a new programme being launched.

The 'Breeze' programme will work alongside 24 patients in deprived areas to help deal with the condition COPD,which is a collection of lung diseases that makes breathing difficult.

Simply Singing, a local group, will devise and deliver these fun and beneficial singing sessions. They will aim to teach patients to understand and manage controlled breathing.

Research suggests that singing can have other benefits for patients with respiratory illness too, such as reducing anxiety, improving general well-being and increasing confidence.

The support programme will be delivered in two of Wirral’s leisure centres by a new community interest group, Health Junction. It will last for six weeks and involve one two-hour session a week incorporating specialist advice from health practitioners, community information, physical exercise and other activities, as well as the one-hour singing session each week.

Dr Shyamal Mukherjee, Medical Director for the Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral NHS Cluster said: “I am delighted that this project has come to the Wirral. COPD is a serious, life-threatening health problem which is on the increase. It not only needs careful management, which people already receive in Wirral, it also needs additional innovations like Breeze to complement existing provision. This partnership working will produce excellent results for COPD patients on the Wirral.”

Around 7,000 people from the Wirral suffer from COPD, with the condition disproportionately affecting peole in the most disadvantaged parts of the borough and accounting for a high number of emergency hospital admissions.

This is a pilot scheme being co-ordinated by Wirral Council. It has been made possible by a successful application to NHS Wirral’s Public Health Innovation Fund.

Cllr Chris Jones, Wirral Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “The Breeze programme has been specifically designed to complement the already excellent support that COPD patients receive in Wirral to help them manage their condition, give them the best possible quality of life and reduce the possibility of them needing to access emergency medical attention.”

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