BLF initiative in Co Antrim helps those suffering from lung disease

A six week lung health programme facilitated by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) and Kennedy’s Pharmacy in Rasharkin has been hailed as a great success by participants, who have called for more programmes of the kind to be set up in the area.

The initiative, titled ‘Living with COPD’ was designed to cover a wide range of issues that face those who live with the chronic lung condition.

These areas included how to self-manage, the correct use of nebulisers and inhalers, smoking cessation advice, information on pulmonary rehabilitation and the welfare benefits available to both patients and carers alike. Participants also received information on services the BLF provide, including the BLF Helpline and the benefits of BLF support groups and membership.

Jean Henry, 77, of Rasharkin, was one of the six people from the area who took part in the pioneering programme said: “It has definitely been a very useful programme to take part in. The information on the benefits of exercise for respiratory patients was excellent. It is the first of its kind that I have been to, and more programmes like this would be welcome.”

Nessie Blair, the BLF Development Officer in Northern Ireland said of the initiative: “The ‘Living with COPD’ initiative has been very beneficial for those who took part. A main aim of the programme is helping those living with COPD to manage their illness in a better way so that they feel more confident in recognising when they are experiencing a flare up in their condition. This important knowledge can help patients to maintain their health and stay out of hospital.”

Julie Ritchie, pharmacist at Kennedy’s Pharmacy, said; “We have had very positive feedback from the participants who have been reporting improvements in their symptoms. We were delighted to be involved in this programme and to see the positive effects it has had on our participating patients.”