PATIENTS who suffer from chronic lung disorders in Wirral will be singing their way to better health.
Under the new programme, entitled Breeze, people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are being prescribed a one-hour singing session a week.
The classes are part of a whole package of activities designed to help and better support people in managing their condition.
Around 7,000 people from Wirral suffer from COPD – a collective term for a number of lung conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
It accounts for a high number of emergency hospital admissions in Wirral – with a disproportionate number of these people living in the most disadvantaged parts of the borough.
The Breeze programme will work within these deprived areas to offer 24 COPD patients a complete six-week package of support, involving one two-hour session a week incorporating specialist advice from health practitioners, community information, physical exercise and other activities, and a one-hour singing session each week.
The singing sessions, which are devised and delivered by a local group called Simply Singing, are designed to be fun but also have practical benefits.
The techniques they will learn help patients to understand and manage controlled breathing and research suggests singing can have other benefits, such as reducing anxiety, improving general wellbeing and increasing confidence.
The scheme, co-ordinated by Wirral Council in association with a range of health and well-being professionals, starts in January and follows a successful application to the NHS Wirral’s Public Health Innovation Fund.
Dr Shyamal Mukherjee, Medical Director for the Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral NHS Cluster and also a GP in Wallasey, said: “I am delighted that this project has come to the Wirral. COPD is a serious, life-threatening health problem which is on the increase.”
Find out how to get involved and be one of the 24, call Cath Aitken on 07767 386828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.