Learning to be an expert patient

PEOPLE living in Budleigh Salterton with long-term health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, MS and arthritis, are to receive free support from trained tutors. The Expert Patients Programme (EPP), run by Devon Primary Care Trust, begins on Tuesday, May

PEOPLE living in Budleigh Salterton with long-term health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, MS and arthritis, are to receive free support from trained tutors.The Expert Patients Programme (EPP), run by Devon Primary Care Trust, begins on Tuesday, May 5, 2- 4.30pm, at the Peter Hall, and will be held every Tuesday for six weeks.The aim of the course is to help people develop skills, confidence and knowledge - in a bid to achieve 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. The sessions include relaxation techniques, dealing with tiredness and feelings of anger and depression, and planning for the future.The PCT said research shows the benefits of attendance can lead to better symptom control, fewer visits to hospital and an increase in quality of life.Course coordinator Carmel Fanconi said: "Our expert patient programme has been very popular and we have received excellent feedback."A former course patient, who did not want to be named, 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 clearer now."Devon PCT also runs Looking after Me courses for carers who look after a person with a long term condition.Anyone who would like to attend either of these courses can call free on 0800 073 0792 or email d-pc.EPP@nhs.netEarly booking is advisable as places are limited.


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