Free tutoring for those with long-term health conditions

PUBLISHED: 09:18 05 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:49 15 June 2010

Free tutoring is available for people in Devon with long-term health conditions to help them manage their conditions.

Free tutoring is available for people in Devon with long-term health conditions to help them manage their conditions.The Expert Patient Programme (EPP), run by Devon Primary Care Trust (PCT), is an opportunity for people living with long-term health conditions to develop more skills to help them to cope with the difficulties of long-term health problems.It involves attending a weekly session of two and a half hours for six consecutive weeks.Research shows that the benefits from attending a course include making effective use of limited energy, leading a more active lifestyle, raised self esteem and confidence, and fewer visits and shorter stays at hospitals.Anyone over 18 years of age who is living with a long term health condition (eg diabetes, asthma, MS, arthritis) is eligible for the EPP.Caroline Durbin took part in a course at Dawlish and is now hoping to become a tutor for the programme."The EPP course is fantastic and I cannot believe how much it helped me look into my symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and work with them positively," she said."The help I got at the programme meant I never let my symptoms get the better of me."Carmel Fanconi, EPP coordinator, said: "Our expert patient programme has been very popular and we have received excellent feedback."People have told me that the courses have helped them feel motivated, and through meeting other people with long-term health conditions, it has helped them put their own condition into perspective."Devon PCT also runs Looking After Me (LAM) courses, which are for carers who may or may not have a long-term health condition themselves, but are looking after a person with a long-term health condition.Carmel continued: "The LAM course helps carers make new friends who are in a similar situation and gives them a good feeling of security and helps builds their confidence."It gives them an opportunity to be recognised as a person and not just a carer." Anyone who would like to attend any of the courses listed below, or reserve a place for future courses, should call free on 0800 073 0792 or email Expert Patient Programme courses:LocationDatesTimeSt James Church (Main) Hall,Mount Pleasant Road, Exeter,EX4 7AH16 Jan - 20 Feb 2009(Fridays)10.30am - 1pmTiverton and District Hospital,Kennedy Way, Tiverton, EX16 6NT18 Feb - 25 Mar 2009(Wednesdays)2pm - 4.30pmKingskerswell Health Centre, School Road, Kingskerswell, TQ12 5DJ6 Feb - 13 Mar 2009(Wednesdays)10.30am - 1pmLooking After Me courses:LocationDatesTimeCouncil for Voluntary Service,Wat Tyler House,King William Street,Exeter, EX4 6PD20 Feb - 27 Mar 2009(Fridays)10.30am - 1pm(Sandwich lunch afterwards)

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