Breathe Easy with Burnley Football Club
Burnley residents who have problems with their lungs are invited to come along on the third Thursday of the month to meet up with Breathe Easy Burnley at Burnley Football Club.
Breathe Easy Burnley is run by people who have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), with support from British Lung Foundation and NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Having COPD can mean that you get out of breath much easier than other people who are the same age as you, or you can’t walk as far as your friends can without stopping. This can lead to people starting to cut back on what they do outside of their homes, and not meeting up with as many people as they would like to.
Joining Breathe Easy is one way of meeting up with other people who have COPD. It can be a good way of finding other people in your area who you could link up with. Maybe you would like to become more active, or you may just like to come along for a chat. It’s up to you.
By coming along to Breathe Easy Burnley, people with COPD get the chance to catch up with other members over tea and biscuits, take part in a social activity as well as having the chance to ask questions to a member of the local clinical healthcare team e.g. a pharmacist or pulmonary rehab physiotherapist.
There are approximately 10,000 people in East Lancashire who have COPD. These people find it harder to breathe out because their airways have become narrower. COPD includes bronchitis and emphysema, which can also occur together. COPD usually develops because of long-term damage to your lungs from breathing in a harmful substance. Stopping smoking or not starting smoking in the first place is the best way of reducing your chance of getting COPD. You can get help with stopping smoking from the Lancashire Quit Squad website - www.quitsquad.nhs.uk or by calling 0800 328 6297.
Up to 1 in 4 patients with COPD have never smoked including people who may have had uncontrolled asthma in childhood, lung infections such as TB, or have been exposed to second hand smoke at home or environmental pollution at home or work.
Your chances of having COPD are much higher if you live in East Lancashire than if you live in other parts of England.
Please speak with your GP or practice nurse if you have any of these symptoms:
• getting short of breath easily when you do everyday things such as going for a walk or doing housework
• having a cough that lasts a long time
• wheezing in cold weather
• producing more sputum or phlegm than usual
If you have severe COPD, you can lose your appetite, lose weight and find that your ankles swell.
Dr Stuart Berry, the lead GP for respiratory conditions, at NHS East Lancashire CCG said:
“Breathe Easy groups are a great way for people to meet up with other people who have COPD It’s a kind of mixture of social club and support group for anyone who is living with COPD - including the relatives of people who have COPD.
We know that patients generally get a lot out of talking with other people who have the same condition as them. Other patients know exactly what you are going through and have a lot of experience to share. As well as making friends, and maybe trying out new activities, we also know that people who join Breathe Easy groups are less likely to end up needing to be admitted to hospital.
More Breathe Easy groups are set to launch in East Lancashire this year, including a Clitheroe Breathe Easy group which launches this month.
The British Lung Foundation also has an excellent website www.blf.org.uk with many useful tips for living well with COPD so please take a look at it or ask someone to show you if you don't have internet access yourself. You can also telephone them for general advice on 03000 030 555.”
Please keep checking on the East Lancashire CCG website www.eastlancsccg.nhs.uk for further information once this group has launched or telephone British Lung Foundation for more information about Breathe Easy groups in general.
Breathe Easy Burnley meets every third Thursday of the month from 1pm-3pm at the Jimmy McIlroy Stand, Burnley Football Club, Turf Moor, Harry Potts Way, Burnley, BB10 4BX. The groups are free and family and friends are welcome too!