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DISABILITY INFORMATION GREATER GLASGOW

October 14, 2004 9:00 AM

NHS Greater Glasgow and Arthritis Care have secured funding from the New Opportunities Fund to provide training to help people cope with long-term illnesses.

A three-year collaboration between NHS Greater Glasgow and Arthritis Care to offer self-management and expert patient programmes to people in Greater Glasgow with chronic diseases.

Conditions such as long-term neurological disease (eg multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson's Disease, brain injury); heart, respiratory and renal failure; stroke; arthritis; deafness and blindness; incontinence; skin disease and disfigurement often cause pain, loss of mobility, emotional and psychological difficulties, embarrassment and even stigmatisation.

Dr John Womersley, Consultant in Public Health Medicine said: "Living with conditions such as these can seriously limit work and leisure activity – with profound consequences for a patient's well-being, quality of life and ability to function.

"The funding has seen training courses set-up for patients to address issues such as confidence-building, relaxation, exercise, fatigue, nutrition, problem-solving, action planning, communication, and working with health care professionals."

Self-Management Courses take the form of six structured sessions, each lasting 2.5 hours over a six-week period and are delivered by volunteer trainers who themselves have a chronic condition and are keen to build up their own expertise and then pass this on to help others.

Each Volunteer Trainer will deliver two ‘self management courses' each year to groups of around 12 – 15 people who have a long-term health condition. The aim is to enable people with such conditions to take more control over their health by understanding and managing their condition – leading to an improved quality of life.

The outcome of each course is for patients to:

· feel confident and in control of their lives

· manage their condition and its treatment in partnership with health care professionals

· communicate effectively with professionals

· be realistic about the impact of their disease on themselves and their family

· be willing to undertake training to pass on their new found management skills to others with similar conditions.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer trainer should contact Anne Mcdonald on 0141 201 4979.The programmes are carefully evaluated to ensure that people who participate in the course do, in fact, benefit. Evaluation will be an important component of the courses provided by NHS Greater Glasgow, Arthritis Care and the New Opportunities Fund.

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