Free courses for Bideford people with chronic conditions

PEOPLE living in Bideford with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, MS and arthritis are to receive free support from trained tutors. The launch of the new course will take place on Tuesday, June 9 at the Hallsannery Centre, Bideford, a

PEOPLE living in Bideford with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, MS and arthritis are to receive free support from trained tutors.The launch of the new course will take place on Tuesday, June 9 at the Hallsannery Centre, Bideford, and will be held every Tuesday, for six weeks, from 2pm until 4:30pm.The Expert Patients Programme (EPP), run by Devon Primary Care Trust, (PCT) will help them develop skills, confidence and knowledge, achieving the greatest possible physical capability and pleasure from life, despite living with a chronic health condition. The programme is led by trained tutors who have experience of living with a long-term health condition. It includes relaxation techniques, dealing with tiredness and feelings of anger and depression, and planning for the future.Research shows the benefits of attendance can lead to better symptom control, fewer visits to hospital and an increase in quality of life.Carmel Fanconi, EPP coordinator, said: "Our expert patient programme has been very popular and we have received excellent feedback".A patient who attended an EPP course said: "Everyone who takes the course has a different condition, but similar problems. It is motivating and inspirational to meet other patients in a social context; it really puts your own condition into perspective."The course book was also excellent and packed with relevant information which helps one become a self-manager of one's condition and of life in general. I can see my 'path' more clearly now". Devon PCT also runs Looking after Me courses for carers who look after a person with a long tem condition.Anyone who would like to attend any of these courses should call free on 0800 073 0792 or email d-pc.EPP@nhs.netAll these courses are free but it is advisable to book early in order to secure a place.


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