Sub menu

For patients

If you would like to join our pulmonary rehabilitation programme, your GP, Consultant, physiotherapist or respiratory nurse can refer you. Alternatively, you can self-refer here (from 10 October 2022). A referral form is available for you to download from this website. However, if this hasn’t been mentioned to you, then please ask to be referred.

Following triage by a respiratory physiotherapist if you are suitable for pulmonary rehabilitation you will be contacted via letter and be asked to respond to determine the most appropriate venue and programme for you.

We aim to see our patients within 90 days of referral, however in some locations due to high numbers of referrals the waiting times are longer.

The venues and times we currently offer are:

Classes 

Venue

Day

Time

Class capacity

Average waiting times for initial assessment

Brandon

Brandon Leisure Centre, 20 Church Road, Brandon. IP27 0JB

Tuesdays and Thursdays

12pm – 2pm

10

Approximately 90 days

Mildenhall

Mildenhall Hub, Sheldrick Way, Mildenhall. IP28 7JX

Tuesdays and Thursdays

9.30-11.30am 

 

10

Less than 90 days

Bury

Anselm Community Centre, 63 Anselm Avenue, Bury St Edmunds. IP32 6JZ

Wednesdays and Fridays

9.45-11.45am 

10

Less than 90 days

Haverhill

Haverhill Leisure Centre, Ehringshausen Way, Haverhill. CB9 0ER

Wednesdays and Fridays

1.30pm - 3.30pm

10

Less than 90 days

Newmarket

Newmarket Leisure Centre, Exning Road, Newmarket. CB8 0EA

Tuesdays and Thursdays

2pm - 4pm

10

Less than 90 days

Sudbury

Kingfisher Leisure Centre, Station Road, Sudbury CO10 2SU

Mondays and Wednesdays

1pm - 3pm

10

Approximately 90 days

Please be aware that due to the high demand for pulmonary rehabilitation, we currently have a waiting list so will contact you once an assessment opportunity is available. We aim to see our patients within 90 days of referral, however in some locations due to high numbers of referrals the waiting times are longer (see table below for further details)

What our patients say:

"The course helped me a lot to understand how we can help ourselves more" "I learned a lot and it gave me courage to actually get myself motivated to do more exercise" "I thoroughly enjoyed the class. You all make the exercises fun and easy to understand"

Your first visit - initial Assessment

Prior to commencing a Pulmonary Rehabilitation course all participants are required to undergo an initial assessment to determine their suitability. The initial assessment and physical assessment will take place at the venue where you will be completing your course and will take approximately 1 hour to complete. This assessment will involve having your blood pressure and oxygen checked and completing a sit-to-stand test and shuttle walk test to assess your level of ability prior to commencing the course. You may bring a chaperone if you have a medical condition or language need that means you require additional assistance. Where applicable, please bring your oxygen, GTN spray, Epipen, reliever inhaler and walking aid and prescription to your physical assessment. If you are deemed suitable following you initial assessment, we expect you to start your Pulmonary Rehabilitation course within 4 weeks.

Face to face pulmonary rehabilitation course

Following your initial assessment you will attend the venue twice a week for two hours for six weeks, as detailed above. The first hour will compromise of exercise, gradually increasing the intensity throughout the course tailored to your needs and abilities. This is then followed by by an education session : An introduction to pulmonary rehabilitation, importance of exercising, lung anatomy, types of lung condition, breathlessness and how to manage it, signs and symptoms of a chest infection, inhalers, anxiety and relaxation, nutrition, smoking, how does it affect me? and what to do after pulmonary rehabilitation.

What happens after a course?

Once you have finished your 6-week course you will undergo a final assessment. This involves repeating some of your initial tests to see your improvement. A discharge letter summarising your progress will then be sent to your referring clinician. Patients will be encouraged to continue with their exercises routine and/or will be signposted to local groups to assist them with this. They will also be given details of local support groups. Patients may take part in one Pulmonary Rehabilitation course per year.

Alternatives to face-to-face pulmonary rehab

Home Exercises Programme - Patients taking part in this program will be provided with the exercise sheets and education leaflets so that they can carry out their exercises two days per week at home (for a period of 6 weeks). They will be provided with any equipment needed to complete these sessions and will receive weekly telephone support from a Physiotherapist or Assistant. Virtual Classes - A small group of up to 8 patients are invited to take part in twice weekly classes, from the comfort of their home, via the Microsoft Teams platform (for a period of 6 weeks). These classes will be led by a Physiotherapist and an Assistant. Patients choosing this option will need to have a PC, laptop or tablet with a webcam & microphone, internet access and a personal e-mail address. The patient will be provided with any equipment needed to complete these classes.



What happens if you are not suitable?

If you are deemed unsuitable to commence a Pulmonary Rehabilitation course you may still benefit from any of the following:

  • Respiratory Physiotherapy at WSH via therapyreferrals@wsh.nhs.uk.
  • Chest Clinic at West Suffolk Hospital
  • Other community led support services e.g. One-Life Suffolk for Health Walks, Breathe Easy support group.  The British Lung Foundation is available for telephone support and online advice.

If you are scoring an MRC of 1 you can be signed up for the MyCOPD app or referred for exercise on prescription classes held at the Abbeycroft Leisure sites. 

 

Patient information leaflets

 

Patient focus groups 

Our pulmonary rehabilitation team wants to ensure the best possible patient care, we thrive on developing our service and for this we need your help.

We are currently looking for patients to join our patient focus group. Should you be interested please do let your pulmonary rehabilitation physiotherapist or rehabilitation assistant practitioner know.

We also invite you to take part in our patient feedback questionnaire at the end of your course.