People with lung disease in West Essex are being encouraged to take part in new free activity and advice sessions that will improve their breathing.

Launched by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, the national health campaign is aimed at people with long-term health conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and bronchiectasis.

St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping, Saffron Walden Community Hospital and Latton Bush near Harlow will all host the 12 two-hour tailored exercise sessions.

Once referred by their GP, each person will also be entitled to beginning and end-of-programme physical health checks and a mental health assessment.

Epping Forest Guardian:

St Margaret's Hospital in Epping will be providing the new 12 two-hour sessions for residents with lung disease.

Sally Wood, the programme’s clinical lead physiotherapist, said: “If we can build up each person’s exercise tolerance and develop their muscles, we know that this will help with their ability to walk further and help them feel less tired and breathless when carrying out day-to-day activities.

“Although the sessions cannot cure a patient, they enable them to better manage their condition themselves instead of relying solely on external care.”

The Trust said that the new programme will help those with lung disease helps understand and manage their conditions and symptoms and provide lifestyle support.

One woman with COPD said she had lost almost two stone through the sessions, while another with the same diagnosis could now walk up a flight of stairs without stopping.

The programme had also helped build the strength of

A man with interstitial lung disease also underwent a successful double lung transplant after building up his strength during the 12-week programme.

The Trust’s call coincides with national campaign We Are Undefeatable which aims to change the misconception that people with long-term health conditions cannot be active.

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