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                 Regional East Sussex Pulmonary Service (RESPS) Team

The Regional East Sussex Pulmonary Service (RESPS) team consists of experienced respiratory nurses and physiotherapists with a specialist knowledge in chronic respiratory conditions.

The aim of the service is to provide patients and their carers/relatives with support, advice, interventions and management appropriate to their needs and wishes.


The team provide Pulmonary Rehabilitation which is an exercise and education programme designed to improve the wellbeing of those with chronic respiratory conditions.

                                                           Information from the RESPS TEAM

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Course.

The course is run by the Regional East Sussex Pulmonary Service (RESPS) who are made up of specialist physiotherapists, respiratory nurses and respiratory support workers. Other healthcare professionals will also help deliver aspects of the course.

The course is for 2 sessions a week, the Eastbourne one is currently running at St Marys Church in Hampden Park between 2 and 3:30pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.

You can bring a carer if you need one but we try and encourage you to attend alone where possible due to social distancing. 

Each session will be divided into exercise for the first hour and education for another 30 minutes to an hour. The exercise sessions will be led by the physiotherapy team.

The education will be led by different members of our team, depending on the subject. Most of the education session handouts will also be in this booklet.

We will guide you through the exercise at your own pace. Many of you will have different respiratory problems and different levels of ability, so we will ensure that you exercise at the level appropriate to you. We cannot stress enough how important it is to work at your own level and try not to compare yourself to others!

To ensure that you are exercising at the correct intensity, the team will be checking your oxygen saturations and heart rate throughout the session.

The team will offer advice, help and supervision throughout the course. We encourage you to ask any questions at any time throughout the course.

 Why bother??


When you have a long term lung problem you can find it difficult to move around or carry out your normal daily activities without feeling breathless. Pulmonary rehabilitation is designed to break that downward cycle of breathlessness and inactivity through education and exercise.

Getting out of breath can be very frightening, which makes the breathlessness worse. To avoid this people often reduce the amount of activity they do. By reducing activity over time you become unfit, tired and more breathless.


How can Pulmonary Rehabilitation Help?

•          Walking distance can be improved

•          Improved coping strategies

•          Breathlessness not as troublesome

•          Decreased anxiety

•          Improved quality of life as you find you can do more

•          Improved management of your lung condition



Attending Pulmonary Rehabilitation twice a week and following the home exercise programme given to you to do, will have a training effect on your muscles. As the exercise is repeated over the weeks your muscles will start to work more efficiently. They will have a greater ability to use the oxygen, delivered by the blood to make energy. The muscles will have more stamina and strength as they increase in efficiency and size.

When doing any exercises, always start with the warm-up exercises.  This is to prevent injury

We advise you do some form of aerobic exercise at least three times per week.  This can include  two sessions of PR.  You can choose which aerobic exercises fto do but it is important to do some. When doing aerobic exercise you should exercise for as long as you can, aiming to be comfortably out of breath, i.e. still able to complete full sentences.  If you are in excess of this, slow down or stop

Your aerobic exercise sessions should ideally be continuous for 20 minutes. Initially, you may not manage this. Therefore, you can split the session up e.g. four sessions of five minutes walking per day.  Eventually, we hope that you will be able to manage 20 minutes continuously.  So keep trying to increase the length of your sessions as you are able.

So, in summary, you should exercise five days out of seven.  Three of these days should concentrate on aerobic exercise (this includes PR sessions ).  On the other two days you can do either the strengthening exercises or general exercises.

So PR helps you achieve your exercise goals and helps your general fitness which affects your respiratory condition, breaking the downward spiral of inactivity and breathlessness. 

Breathlessness is not a bad thing in itself but can be a worrying and troublesome symptom when you have lung disease.

By attending Pulmonary Rehabilitation you will learn what your safe level of breathlessness to be working at is.


Improved Management

The education sessions are designed to give you as much information as possible to help you understand and manage your chest condition. Subjects covered will include:


•          Understanding your long term lung conditions

•          Safe exercise and the benefits

•          Managing breathlessness

•          How to clear your chest easily

•          Inhalers

•          Managing exacerbations of your chest problem and planning future care

•          Nutrition

•          Energy conservation

•          Managing your mood and Relaxation

•          Welfare and Benefits

•          Continuing after the group


We use a workbook throughout the course to enhance the education sessions by providing you with information and an opportunity to be actively involved in your learning.

To ensure that you achieve maximum benefit from the pulmonary rehabilitation course it is useful for you to set some personal goals to work towards in the short-term, whilst attending the course and in the long-term for after the course has finished. This will help to motivate you as you have something to work towards and provide you with evidence of how you have improved.

To help you write these you should try to ensure that they are realistic and achievable goals and try to set yourself a target date for when you would like to achieve them by. e.g. I will be able to walk to the town centre with one rest in 6 weeks.

Setting goals can help keep you motivated and you can see your improvements writing them down can really help. 

We advise everyone to try and do some form of exercise approximately five days out of seven. , When you are on the course the course will count as your session on 2 days of the week.

How to join?


If you would like to join a PR course then if you have been under our care in the last 12 months you can just call the RESPS Team  on 0300 131 5317, leave a message and you will be added to the waiting list, either for an initial assessment if we need further information about your condition, or straight to the PR waiting list if we have all the up to date information we need.



If you have not been under the care of the RESPS Team in the last 12 months you will need a referral from your GP, Practice nurse or hospital doctor. 

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