The Breathe Easy Enablement Programme (BEEP) has offered patients diagnosed with life-limiting conditions affecting their lung health, and their family, the opportunity to participate in exercise and learn about their condition to self-manage at home. This innovative programme focuses on supporting those receiving best supportive care, particularly those approaching their last year of life, alongside helping them to ‘live’.
Historically, the breathlessness service delivered at Lindsey Lodge Hospice and Healthcare offered valuable one-to-one support and was led by a sole practitioner. As the hospice has evolved, waiting times to access the service have increased and patient need has become increasingly complex. As a result, it felt appropriate to change our approach in order to improve patient outcomes and influence other aspects of the local community, for example, reducing the frequency of hospital admission. Through Hospice UK funding, the Breathe Easy Enablement Programme was born and has been delivered on a face-to-face and remote basis through the pandemic.
There are a number of innovative aspects of the programme. These include, the involvement and offer of intervention for the patient’s main carer, the integration and collaboration of hospice and wider community service staff, the development of a new ‘advanced assistant’ role to enhance continuity of care and the inclusion of advance care planning and complementary therapy as core aspects of the programme.
The programme is intensive, offered over an 8-week period. Each week consists of an hour of exercise for the patient and an hour of counselling/emotional support for their carer. Following this, both patient and carer participate in an information session that includes education surrounding breathing control, disease management, fatigue, managing anxiety, and future/advance care planning to name a few. All patients who have attended the programme have shown significant improvements to their quality of life. All of which have been captured through robust quantitative and qualitative outcome measures.
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