New support group to help those with difficulty breathing

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A support group for people with lung and respiratory problems is vital in Gosport.

That’s the view of Dr David Chilvers, who says there are many people locally who will benefit.

People in Gosport are now being encouraged to go along to the first Breathe Easy group session.

The monthly meetings are for anyone suffering from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lung cancer among other breathing problems.

At the sessions, members can get information on their condition was well as speak to specialist nurses and doctors.

Dr David Chilvers, lead of the Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, said: ‘Breathe Easy will give support and education, plus helpful assistance for people with breathing problems to live a healthy lifestyle. There is a big need in Gosport for this group as there are a lot of people with breathing difficulties.

‘There are a lot of people who smoke and who aren’t getting the best access and care to help.

‘This group will bridge that gap and will give free advice on the help available to them.’

The decision to set up a group in Gosport was made by the Portsmouth branch of the British Lung Foundation who runs the Breathe Easy groups.

It was decided Gosport was in need of its own sessions for people who couldn’t travel to Portsmouth.

Chairman of the Portsmouth Branch Eric Compton said: ‘We did a scheme in Gosport called Know It, Check It, Treat It, which gave people the chance to check their lungs.

‘Using a spirometry test, which can help diagnose lung conditions, we found a significant number of people in Gosport had undiagnosed asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

‘We called the project Gasping Gosport which I thought was very apt because a lot of people had problems.’

At the first meeting, on Thursday, members will hear from guest speaker Matt Clemo, a respiratory nurse specialist from Queen Alexandra Hospital.

They will also be shown how to use an asthma pump properly and have the chance to ask Mr Clemo questions.

The meeting runs from 2pm to 4pm at Gosport Leisure Centre in Forest Way.

To find out more about the group, call Mr Compton, who is also a mentor for the Gosport team, on (023) 9232 7840.