NHS to launch free course for patients in Honiton

Expert Patient Programme to help people living with long-term health conditions.

People living with long-term health conditions in Honiton are to be offered free support from trained tutors to enable them to get the most out of life.

A new, six week course for people suffering from conditions such as diabetes, asthma, MS and arthritis will be launched next month at the Heathfield Inn.

The Expert Patient Programme (EPP), run by NHS Devon, will help people develop skills, confidence and knowledge, achieving the greatest possible physical capability and pleasure from life, despite living with a chronic health condition.

The programme is led by tutors who have personal experience of living with a long-term health condition.

It includes relaxation techniques, dealing with tiredness and feelings of anger and depression, and planning for the future.

The NHS says research shows the benefits of attendance can lead to better symptom control, fewer visits to hospital and an increase in quality of life.

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Mel McColm has attended one of the courses and said: “I found the course informative and we covered a range of topics that help to improve my ability to self manage my condition,” he said.

“The sessions on breathing and relaxation were of great benefit.

“The course highlighted the need for positive thinking and the importance of understanding my treatment, the drugs prescribed and their purpose and the recognition of symptoms or changes in my condition.”

NHS Devon also runs Looking After Me courses for carers, who look after a person with a long-term condition.

The course starts on Thursday, February 16, and runs from 2pm to 4.30pm.

Anyone who would like to attend should call free on 0800 073 0792 or email d-pc.EPP@nhs.net