Before the current pandemic, the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust MY Therapy Community Services provided a pulmonary rehabilitation service which involved groups of patients exercising together and learning about how best to manage their respiratory condition.
In March 2020 the patient facing classes stopped overnight due the Coronavirus pandemic and the MYHT Pulmonary Rehabilitation Physiotherapy team were redeployed to Pinderfields Hospital to support respiratory patients suffering with Covid.
The Trust continued to support community patients through regular phone calls to ensure patients continued to follow their personal programmes of walking at home, preventing issues linked to being sedentary, but the physical interaction of the classes were missed by patients.
In July the Trust launched virtual consultations using the NHS Attend Anywhere platform and 80% of patients reported there were no disadvantages to a virtual consultation and 95% of patients felt they were able to communicate everything they needed to.
Recently, MY Therapy launched its first 6 week online exercise and education programme. They have supported patients in setting up virtual technology and patients are provided with pulse oximeters to allow patients and the Trust to track their blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate at home.
Timothy Booth started the course in early October and said: "It has been really good to do something, it was a great workout!"
David Melia, Director of Nursing and Quality, at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said:
“This new way of working is rewarding but it has its challenges – we would like to thank all our COPD community patients for being so resilient and open to new technologies, helping us to help them.
It can be difficult to develop a therapeutic relationship remotely, and virtual fatigue for our clinicians is very real but they are up all for the challenge and have taken it in their stride, looking after our patients and each other.
Future capacity and demand for Pulmonary Rehabilitation services is likely to be in demand, this new way of working and innovating will help us meet the needs of our patients.”
If you think you would benefit from joining the MYHT pulmonary rehabilitation group, contact your healthcare provide and speak to them about referral to the MY Therapy service.