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Pulmonary rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a programme of exercise and education prescribed to people with long-term lung conditions. It has long been recognised that gentle exercise is beneficial to people who struggle with their breathing. 

Services we provide 

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a self-management programme for people with lung conditions who experience breathlessness in their daily life and are motivated to take steps to improve.

Pulmonary rehabilitation empowers you to manage your condition through learning strategies to manage your breathlessness, increasing your strength and endurance and in turn improving your quality of life.

Our courses deliver a six week programme of exercise and education.  Patients can choose to attend a course in a group setting where each week patients will be expected to attend their chosen venue twice per week.

The exercises used during the classes can be carried out either sitting or standing, depending on your level of ability. They can also be adapted for people who struggle with joint problems. Your exercise programme will be designed specifically to your needs.

Our mission statement

"We strive to provide patients with accessible, safe and high-quality pulmonary rehabilitation. Our service thrives off the patients themselves.  Our goal is to enable them to get back in control of their breathing and live more fulfilling lives.  We are a kind and compassionate team who listens to the evidence, listens to each other and listens to our patients. Together we can deliver the best service and make a difference."

Pulmonary rehab team, WSH

Core values

The WSFT Pulmonary Rehabilitation Service is underpinned by 5 core values:

  • Deliver Safe and High Quality Care
    Patient safety is an essential part of our service delivery.  Every patient, when at their most vulnerable deserves to receive care knowing that they are in a clean and safe environment, that the professionals are engaged, informed and accountable and that they will receive the best available care.
  • Dynamic and Responsive
    The needs of patients and the challenges of delivering healthcare are forever evolving. We are proud to be able to accept these challenges and are responsive to the needs of our service users.  This ensures that our service is available to all when and where they need us.
  • Kindness and Compassion
    Our patients deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion at a time when they may feel particularly vulnerable and in need. A kind and compassionate approach facilitates patient engagement, reassures patients and empowers them to trust us in what we do. We recognise that even the small things count and that these can greatly impact on the patient’s experience and outcome. 
  • Collaborative Teamwork
    Our service relies on consistent collaboration with our partners to ensure we meet the needs of service users.  Successful communication with patients, primary care and community teams allows us to deliver the right care at the right place at the right time.
  • Staff Wellbeing and Engagement
    In order to deliver the best service to our patients the wellbeing and engagement of our staff is key. Our clinicians know our patients the best and are central to developing the service to achieve this. Investing in our staff through training and correct support provides an environment where our team can thrive. 

Benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation:

  • Increased exercise tolerance and functional ability
  • Increased strength and endurance
  • Reduced breathlessness on exertion
  • Becoming less fearful of breathlessness
  • Improved coping and self management strategies
  • Reduced levels of anxiety and depression
  • Improved knowledge and understanding of lung disease
  • Reduced frequency of exacerbations of lung conditions
  • Reduced reliance on GP’s and hospital admissions

British Lung Foundation pulmonary rehabilitation video:

Watch "Pulmonary rehabilitation classes changed my life" - Heidi's story of living with COPD:

Pulmonary rehabilitation is not suitable for people who have:

  • Significant and limiting musculoskeletal conditions (i.e. severe arthritis)
  • Unstable angina
  • Acute LVF
  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Uncontrolled cardiac arrhythmias
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm 


Contact us

You can contact the pulmonary rehabilitation department by the following:

Telephone: Suffolk Care Co-ordination Centre, 0300 123 2425

The CCC are open 24 hours per day 365 days per year. They will take your message and send to the pulmonary rehabilitation team.




We pride ourselves on providing a high standard of care to our patients, however, if at any point you feel our standard of care does not meet with your expectations please do let us know. Alternatively you can contact the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Patient Advice and Liaison service (PALS) by the following ways:

Contact PALS

Open 9.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday except Bank Holidays

In person: Our office is situated within the main entrance foyer of the hospital, opposite the information desk. If there is no one in the office during our opening times please speak to the volunteers on the information desk who can page us to come and see you.

Telephone: 01284 712555 with 24 hour answerphone facility


For further information please see our PALS webpage here.