NHS welcomes public to breathlessness event

NHS welcomes public to breathlessness event

RESIDENTS of West Lancashire are encouraged to attend an event in Skelmersdale focussing on breathlessness and the health warnings this poses.

The local NHS in conjunction with Well Skelmersdale, a collaboration of health and social care professionals, as well as the voluntary sector, businesses and social enterprises all coming together to engage with and enhance the lives of people in Skelmersdale, is running a drop-in event, in The Concourse in Skelmersdale, WN8 6LN on Friday 23 September 2016 from 9am to 5pm, and again from 9am to 1pm on Saturday 24 September 2016. The emphasis for this event has focussed on Skelmersdale, due to its higher than the national average number of residents living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).*

Over the course of the two days, members of the public are encouraged to drop into The Concourse, to speak to medical experts from NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Well Skelmersdale and West Lancs CVS, who will offer advice and breathing tests. People attending the event will also be given help and advice from local support groups, including Smoking Cessation.

The subject of breathlessness and its link to a number of health conditions including COPD, heart disease and lung cancer has been prominent over recent months with Public Health England (PHE) and the British Lung Foundation (BLF) both running separate national campaigns, with PHE launching the latest ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign and BLF launching their ‘Listen  to your Lungs’ campaign.

In the UK it is estimated that 1.2 million people live with a diagnosis of COPD, making it the second largest diagnosed lung disease after asthma. However, research indicates that around two thirds of people are living with undiagnosed COPD.

Sandra Bonner, a specialist respiratory nurse at West Lancashire CCG, said: “Everybody gets out of breath from time to time and this is normal, especially when taking part in exercise. However, we want residents to be aware that if they are getting out of breath doing every day activities, that this may be a warning sign that something isn’t quite right.

“We would encourage anybody who wants to learn more about respiratory health, what to look out for and how to better take care of themselves to drop into our event.”

Claire Heneghan, chief nurse at West Lancashire CCG and respiratory health lead for Well Skelmersdale, said:

“One of the major health issues facing the people of Well Lancashire, but in particular residents of Skelmersdale, is respiratory health and in particular COPD. So much so, that Skelmersdale records some of the highest figures nationally for emergency hospital admissions for people living with COPD.

“As with many conditions, there is a lot that, with support, people can do to help themselves, be it give up smoking or becoming more active. At this event, experts will be on hand to offer the help and advice that people need to take that first step into learning how to take control in order to take better care of themselves and living healthier, longer lives.”

Registration is not required for this event and anyone wanting to attend can simply turn up on the day.

  *Based on national figures presented in ‘The Seven Wards’ report.