Living and breathing Leeds

Leeds, Leeds Star

Health and care partners in Leeds are using World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) day on Wednesday 16th November to highlight new peer support groups for people living COPD across Leeds.

From January 2017, respiratory peer support groups will be developed across Leeds to help people manage their condition. The two year programme will see 11 groups set up in areas of highest need across Leeds, supporting people to make a difference to their health. Evidence shows physical activity offers real benefits for people with COPD and peer support is critical to make it easier for people to access activity, join in and stay involved.

Leeds’ three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have funded the programme which is being led by Leeds City Council Public Health team and will be delivered by the British Lung Foundation.

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“We want people in Leeds to live healthier, happier lives and are working across the city to support people to manage their health better. By enabling people to set up peer support groups under the guidance of the British Lung Foundation we are developing a network of support for people with COPD. Those living with the condition are the experts in their lives and by supporting others will make a real difference to both their physical and mental wellbeing.”

Dr Katherine Hickman, Leeds North CCG GP lead for Respiratory, said:

“The new respiratory peer support groups will make sure people with COPD get extra support to manage their condition. The programme will not just have peer support and exercise components, but will also include input from a dedicated healthcare professional.”

Notes for editors

  • COPD describes a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because your airways have been narrowed.
  • Living with COPD makes it difficult to breathe, and you might find everyday tasks a real challenge.