Walker Street residents are expert patients!

Release Date: 07-Jul-2010
Residents of Walker Street retirement housing in Thornhill Lees are in more control of their health, thanks to a new programme that has been piloted at the grange.
All those taking part were presented with certificates this week by EPP tutors Rehana Hussain and Peter Irvine

All those taking part were presented with certificates this week by EPP tutors Rehana Hussain and Peter Irvine

The Expert Patients Programme (EPP) is a free NHS course for anyone with a long-term health condition or illness who wishes to learn skills for controlling and improving their health.

Because many of the residents had concerns about traveling to a course and talking to strangers, Kirklees NHS staff brought the course to them, and Walker Street is the first sheltered scheme to have hosted the programme.

Participants have learned about managing their symptoms, relaxation, healthy eating, dealing with fear and depression and other useful skills that will help them feel more confident and stay well.

According to Julie Battison, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing’s scheme coordinator for Walker Street, the course has been a great success, with nine residents taking part: “As well as learning how to manage their health, the course has benefited people socially. They’ve got to know each other better and have offered support to each other to complete the homework challenges. New friendships have been forged, and everyone has been full of praise for the course and the trainers.”

Margaret Greenwood, one of the participants on the programme, said “I feel 100 times better since I started the course. It’s helped me cope with stress more and I’m so glad I took part in it.”

Rehana Hussain, EPP Tutor, said “it was good to see participants grow in confidence and develop their self-management skills. By the end of the course they were more in control of their conditions and have made long term action plans.”

Marilyn Horton, EPP Manager, said: “This is the first of many programmes we are planning with KNH and we are looking forward to running more courses in the different retirement complexes across Kirklees.

“I would like to thank the staff and residents of Walker Street for their support for this new and exciting venture which has been a complete success.”

Cllr Molly Walton, Kirklees Council Cabinet Member for Adult Services said “This is an exciting course that is informative and above all helpful. The course is led by trained tutors who themselves have experience of illness or caring for a relative.

“The course allows people with long-term conditions to meet and discuss issues related to their illness in a supportive and open environment and to spend time with other people who are in the same situation that they are in. It gives them an opportunity to share experiences and learn new skills that will help them to live with their condition. Some people who have completed the course have gone on to become volunteer tutors”.

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