Changing lives for the better in Rotherham

Breathing Space, Rotherham
Breathing Space, Rotherham

Tailor-made programmes, exercise classes and support groups have all formed part of the success story of a Rotherham health care facility now celebrating 10 years of service.

BreathingSpace provides treatment for respiratory disease, bronchiectasis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and next month, partners and patients will link up to share stories from the past decade.

This vital service has saved the public sector upwards of £6.8 million since its launch in 2007. The care given is life-changing for many people.

Patient Harry was 48 when he first visited BreathingSpace. Referred from Rotherham Hospital, he attended pulmonary rehabilitation classes. Weekly sessions boost Harry’s motivation and he is now being considered for a lung transplant.

Retired coal miner Michael was 56 when he was referred to BreathingSpace in 2013. He had no clear understanding of what was wrong with him. Once pneumoconiosis was diagnosed, he was able to go to exercise classes and enjoys benefits of a support group.

Marjorie first attended the Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme in 2007, aged 59. She has continued exercise programmes over 10 years and enjoys socialising at Breathing Space.

As her lung disease progressed Marjorie required assessment for home oxygen, which has been carried out by BreathingSpace. She continues to receive support in outpatient clinics.

She has alsobeen referred to the Sheffield surgical unit for consideration for lung volume reduction surgery which can help people to live longer, better lives.

Coalfields Respiratory Nurse Consultant, Gail Miles, said: “The difference this facility has made to the community makes us a benchmark for best practice not just in Yorkshire or the UK, but throughout the world.

“Bringing patients and partners together will make this occasion extra special as we share stories from the past decade. We are also looking forward to welcoming our resident choir and members of our Thai Chi class, who will provide demonstrations.”

The approach to patients at BreathingSpace, encouraging them to get out of bed and exercise, has provided a radical step-change in improving quality of life for local people, with reported deaths now 30 per cent lower than the national average.

A partnership between the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and the former Rotherham Primary Care Trust, with support from Rotherham Council and The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, made it possible.