What is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a programme for people with breathing problems. It is designed to help you manage your breathing and make your day-to-day living easier. It consists of a designed and supervised programme of exercise and education. The programme has been adapted during the COVID19 period to ensure it is safe for all attendees.

Who is the programme for?

Anybody with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), who is limited by their breathlessness.

Your GP or practice nurse can refer you to Pulmonary Rehabilitation. You can also be referred by the community COPD team if you are under their care.

What happens on the programme?

 At the start of the programme you will have an individual appointment with an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist to assess your general health and exercise ability.

You will be asked to:

a) Complete some questionnaires that tell us about your breathing
b) Undertake an exercise assessment , so we can measure how much you are able to manage before you start the programme.


What happens after the assessment?

You will be invited to attend the programme twice a week for 3 weeks, on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Exercise sessions are run in small patient bubbles of 6.

Exercise classes

Overseen by health professionals in a safe environment, to help you with exercises you can do on a regular basis to improve your breathing.

Sessions consist of a socially distanced group warm-up, individualised strength and aerobic exercises followed by a socially distanced group cool-down.

Informal discussions

A number of different topics are covered to help you learn more about the lungs, your breathing and the management of your condition.

Points covered include:

Welcome & what is COPD?
Benefits of physical activity
Breathing control and Sputum clearance
Exacerbation management and inhalers
Eating well – Dietitian


Once you have completed the programme, we repeat the questionnaires and exercise assessment to determine your level of improvement.

You will also be invited to continue with a tailored exercise programme for a small charge.

For more information about Pulmonary Rehabilitation, please contact Jon Prosser or Louisa Stonehewer on 024 7623 4570. If you are a health professional and wish to arrange rehabilitation sessions for a patient with moderate, severe or very severe COPD (MRC 3-5), the referral forms are available on the GP Gateway.

Ray lane – Testimonial 

Ray attended Atrium Health after suffering with COPD and took part in a 6 week course attending the gym twice a week. Ray learned with the help of the instructors how to live with COPD and get the most out of life but also used the facilities to improve his overall health and fitness. He enjoys the social side of attending the gym along with the positive effects Atrium Health has had on his life.