Pulmonary rehabilitation is a combination of activity and education sessions for people with breathing difficulties like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Who the classes are for

Pulmonary rehabilitation is for people with breathing difficulties, mostly those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), but people with other chronic lung diseases may benefit.

COPD is a term used for a number of conditions; including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD leads to damaged airways in the lungs, causing them to become narrower and making it harder for air to get in and out of the lungs. Chronic means long term.

In Bristol, these programmes are run by the Sirona Community Respiratory Service Go to https://www.sirona-cic.org.uk/nhsservices/services/community-respiratory-service/ (opens new window). They include assessments before and after the programme of 6 to 8 weeks of exercise and education.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is available free as part of NHS pulmonary rehabilitation service Go to https://remedy.bnssgccg.nhs.uk/adults/respiratory/pulmonary-rehabilitation/ (opens new window).

If you've completed the pulmonary rehabilitation programme, you may be ready to continue to the Better Breathing exercise classes.

How you can benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is designed to help you cope with your breathlessness and feel stronger and fitter.

Although it is not a cure, it can help you feel more in control and improve your quality of life. The right type of exercise can be beneficial and help you deal better with everyday tasks.

We recommend you take advice from appropriately qualified medical professionals and fitness instructors first rather than setting out on your own. This way you can learn how to recognise when you are exercising at the right level.

How to get referred

If you have a respiratory condition and would benefit from supervised and supported exercise, your GP or practice nurse can refer you to the pulmonary rehabilitation programme.

Theyll need to complete a remedy pathway referral to pulmanory rehab Go to https://remedy.bnssg.icb.nhs.uk/adults/respiratory/pulmonary-rehabilitation/#i2 (opens new window).