BARROVIANS living with long-term respiratory conditions can now access ‘Breathe Easy’ groups based in the community.

The groups are an Integrated Care Community (ICC) initiative supported by volunteers and are affiliated with Morecambe Bay Respiratory Network and Asthma + Lung UK.

They will offer people with respiratory conditions such as asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), bronchiectasis and Interstitial Lung Disease advice and support from health and care professionals.

The groups are open to anyone aged 18 and above, giving them the chance to share their experiences and learn from others who are living with the same or a similar long-term respiratory condition.

The sessions are free, no appointment or referral is needed and friends, family and carers are also welcome.

As well as in Barrow, groups have launched in Morecombe, Lancaster, and Kendal.

Dr Pat Haslam, founder and Clinical Lead of Morecambe Bay Respiratory Network, said: “We're so excited to see the Integrated Breathe Easy groups start up across the Bay. They are a fundamental part of improving the quality of life of our patients with respiratory disease.

“There is evidence to show that patients who attend these groups have improved quality of life, reduced admissions to hospital and improved knowledge of how to self-manage their condition. We are looking forward to seeing more groups across the Bay so that all of our patients can benefit from them."

The Furness Breathe Easy group will relaunch on June 15 at St Mary’s Living Well Centre on Duke Street.

Anji Stokes, Development Lead for Bay ICC, added: "Breathe Easy will be great for our area. The sessions provide an opportunity for people with lung conditions to hear from local specialist speakers in an informal environment with plenty of opportunities for questions, the sessions are led by two volunteers and people use their own experiences to help and support each other.

“If you are over 18 and have a lung condition or are supporting someone with a lung condition, I would encourage you to attend."

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