Many patients with non-cancer respiratory disease have significant issues with symptoms such as breathlessness, anxiety and fatigue requiring high levels of support from their loved ones.
Overgate Hospice, the only adult hospice in Calderdale, West Yorkshire has developed a six week course of advice, education and information for people with a chronic lung condition and their carers to help them cope and learn strategies to manage their illness more effectively.
Topics include setting a personal goal to try and achieve over the six weeks, planning future care, education about medication, coping with breathlessness, managing fatigue and support for carers. Patients and carers are invited to attend and transport is provided if required. It is hoped that this programme will prevent emergency admissions to hospital, provide better access to hospice services, improve outcomes that matter to patients and empower patients to make decisions about their preferred place of care.
Many patients were apprehensive about attending at first:
"I was very nervous and thought it (the hospice) was all about patients dying with cancer. I have had my eyes opened."