Video conferencing technology helps COPD patients in Scotland


Exercise classes beamed from hospital to communities as part of respiratory support services

Rehabilitation exercise classes taking place at Forth Valley Royal Hospital will be beamed to patients attending Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre as part of a new video conferencing initiative.

People suffering from chronic lung conditions will benefit from the high-tech video link, where they can listen to education sessions, take part in exercise classes, and speak to nurses about their health.

The classes are aimed at patients with breathing difficulty, most commonly those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They are run twice weekly for six weeks and are led by the respiratory nursing team and physiotherapy teams at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Olwyn Lamont, NHS Forth Valley’s lead respiratory specialist nurse, said: “When patients are suffering from a chronic lung condition they can find it diff cult to move around or do normal daily activities without getting breathless. Our pulmonary rehabilitation classes are designed to help patients cope with their breathlessness and to feel stronger and fitter at the same time, as well as providing professional advice in a friendly and relaxed environment.

“Bringing these classes closer to people's homes via this new video link makes it easier for patients from Clackmannanshire to attend. We’ve already had some very positive feedback from patients and there are plans to make these classes available to patients in Stirling.”

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Patient Phil Anderson, added: “I was told about the classes in Larbert by my GP, but I wasn’t keen on the travelling. A couple of months ago I ended up in hospital and the respiratory nurses told me about the classes starting in Clackmannanshire and I was really keen to join. I think it’s a great idea and have a lot of respect for the staff and I will definitely keep up the exercise.”