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On World COPD Day 2018 Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland launched a new report showing variable levels of support and treatment available to people in Scotland living with chest conditions like COPD.
We called on the Scottish Government to invest in a universal and equal right to pulmonary rehab.
Pulmonary rehabilitation helps improves people’s physical and mental health, and also saves the NHS money by reducing hospital admissions and halving the time spent in hospital. Yet the provision of rehab programmes across the country remains very patchy.
In 2021 the Scottish Government published its first National Respiratory Care Action Plan which commits to everyone getting the support that they need.
Jock is living with COPD. He suffered for 5 years before receiving life-changing pulmonary rehabilitation (PR).
Despite his long wait, Jock is one of the lucky ones. Access to PR is a postcode lottery and thousands of people in Scotland will miss out. We won’t stand for that.
"Pulmonary rehab is what has helped me the most to understand and manage the condition. It should be something that is available to everyone who needs it."
Ian Baxter, from Forfar, is living with COPD. Ian runs the Forfar Airways, a Peer Support Group, supported by Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland. The group links closely with local NHS rehabilitation services to support people in managing their condition. He knows first-hand the benefits that pulmonary rehabilitation and physical activity can have on your physical and mental health.
"There is no doubt that pulmonary rehabilitation helped to turn my life around. It allowed me to be much more in control of my COPD and my life. I’m passionate about physical activity as I know it really helps my COPD. We have over 30 people attending the Forfar Airways each week taking part in physical activity and enjoying the social side. We have a great time together and support each other through good and bad times."