This page is designed for patients and the general public.

Health care professionals looking for further information about pulmonary rehabilitation should click here.

What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a course of education and gentle exercise which aims to:

• help you learn more about your lung condition
• improve your fitness and strength
• help you manage your breathlessness and ultimately improve your quality of life.

Is pulmonary rehabilitation for me?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a course designed to help patients who have long-term lung conditions. This could be COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), bronchiectasis or pulmonary fibrosis.

One of the symptoms of long-term lung conditions is breathlessness. Breathlessness can be frightening and uncomfortable and so you may naturally try to avoid activities which make you breathless. A vicious cycle can result.

This can then make it more difficult for you to do the activities you used to do and so may reduce your quality of life and limit your daily activities. 

Pulmonary rehabilitation is very effective, with lots of research proving that it makes a real difference to patients’ lives. After a course of pulmonary rehabilitation most people:

  • can walk further and faster
  • feel less breathless during routine daily activities
  • feel more positive and better in themselves
  • sleep better and have more energy
  • have improved muscle strength in arms and legs
  • have fewer chest infections and admissions to hospital
  • have a better understanding of their medication and inhaler devices      
  • have an understanding of the benefit of exercise and how to safely exercise within their limits

Some of the comments below are from patients who have attended the East Lancashire Pulmonary Rehabilitation Course.

“I was able to meet and talk to people with the same condition”

“You made me feel good about myself”

“I have gained confidence in knowing how and 
when to take my medication”

“The course was excellent and very informative"

An initial assessment takes place at St Peters Centre, in Burnley, by a physiotherapist, to decide if you are suitable for Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

The programme involves you taking part in a course of exercise that is appropriate to your level of ability. For some patients this means gentle walking and some seated exercises; for others it is faster walking, step-ups and using an exercise bike. All the exercises aim to improve your stamina and strength and help you manage your breathlessness.

Alongside the exercises there are educational sessions to help you learn more about all aspects of managing your lung condition: by understanding your condition and knowing how to cope with it we aim help to put you back in control again.

We make sure you know about your medications and what to do if you have an attack of breathlessness. We help you to feel confident to manage your symptoms and teach you to set realistic goals that will help you achieve the things you want to do.

The course is 6 weeks long with classes run twice weekly.

Please find at the bottom of this page a video of patients and staff talking about what pulmonary rehabilitation involves and the benefits.

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation 6 week courses are run at various locations across East Lancashire, these include:
• Rossendale Primary Care Centre, Rawtenstall. map
• Spring Hill Community Centre, Accrington. map
• Pendle Community Hospital, Nelson. map
• Burnley General Hospital, Burnley. map
• Clitheroe Community Hospital, Clitheroe. map

Hospital transport can be arranged to attend the initial assessment appointment and classes, through the Patient Transport Service, telephone number - 0800 032 3240.

How do I join a Course?

Contact the Integrated Respiratory Service on 01282 805514 to speak to someone in the Pulmonary Rehabilitation team about joining the course or for further information.

Ask your Consultant, GP, Practice Nurse or Respiratory Nurse to refer you Pulmonary Rehabilitation.


Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Integrated Respiratory Service
St Peters Centre
Church Street
BB12 2DL