Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Do you want to improve the quality of your life?

This September NHS Berkshire West is running another popular Expert Patient Course for anyone who has a long-term medical condition and who would like to develop ways of managing their illness more positively in order to improve their quality of life.
 
The Expert Patient Programme builds on the principal that people with long-term health problems already know best how their condition affects the way they feel, their lifestyle and their ability to accomplish activities important to them.  So the course explores ways to positively manage their symptoms, to improve on daily activities and manage the changing emotions that can be brought about by a chronic condition.
 
The course is open to anyone with a long term condition such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, COPD, coronary heart disease, arthritis or any long term condition. If you feel the time is right to learn new life skills to help you cope better in your day to day living and gain confidence in managing your condition then this course is for you.

The course is free and runs for six weeks from Thursday 8th September until Thursday 13th October. Each weekly session lasts for two and half hours, running from 2.00 pm to 4.30pm.  This course will take place at Reading’s International Solidarity Centre (RISC), 35-39 London Street, Reading, UK, RG1 4PS.
 
The Expert Patient Programme has been running in Berkshire West for a number of years by people who have personal experience of long term medical conditions and understand the challenges participants face in having health problems and in coming on the course.
 
Weekly sessions cover topics such as managing symptoms, relaxation techniques, diet and exercise, how to communicate effectively with health care practitioners and how to deal with some of the difficult emotions of fear and frustration. The atmosphere is very informal and supportive which enables people to relax and get to know each other.  The venues are checked to ensure they are accessible for wheelchair use.  Family carers of those on the course are welcome to link up with the course tutors, although they will not attend the sessions themselves
 
Lesley Wyman, Senior Public Health Specialist at NHS Berkshire West, said: ‘Our tutors have all attended the course in the past so they have the experience and knowledge to really make a difference to your life. The course does not contain any clinical content, but is designed to help people to learn new skills, gain confidence and knowledge to help them manage and live with their condition.  We really hope you will think about getting involved with the Expert Patient Programme and attending this course.
 
There are 15 places available on the September course so if you are interested in joining the course you need to apply before Thursday 18th August to Lesley Wyman on 0118 982 2885, email: lesley.wyman@berkshire.nhs.uk.
 
To view a video about NHS Berkshire West’s Expert Patient Programme please visit: