New skills programme for long-term sick

PEOPLE with long-term illnesses are being given the chance to improve their quality of life and become 'expert patients'.The new initiative by Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust is being launched to give people extra skills to manage chronic conditions.

By Jessica Nicholls

By Jessica Nicholls health reporter

jessica.nicholls@eveningstar.co.uk

PEOPLE with long-term illnesses are being given the chance to improve their quality of life and become 'expert patients'.

The new initiative by Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust is being launched to give people extra skills to manage chronic conditions.

The Woodbridge-based Expert Patient Programme will teach people how to manage their illness through problem-solving techniques and learning the importance of diet, nutrition and exercise.

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Ways of dealing with pain and fatigue will also be discussed as well as ways to communicate with others and planning for the future.

The programme aims to create stronger partnerships between patient and doctor, so patients can take over some management of their own illness.

Trained leaders who have had long-term illnesses themselves will run the series of six meetings.

Karen Walton, programme trainer said: "The programme is designed to give people the confidence and knowledge to do all they personally can to successfully control their illness.

"It is all about equipping people with the right information and skills to live as normal a life as possible.

"This is an exciting new development and one which will be of great benefit to people who are living with a chronic disease."

Meetings will be held at the Fred Reynolds Centre, Churchill Close, Woodbridge and will start on August 16.

It runs for six weeks ending on September 20, and is suitable for any Suffolk resident aged over 18 years with a lifelong medical condition.

For more information contact Karen Walton on 01328 878732 or Sharon Jarrett on 01394 458928.

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