Friday, 6 May 2011

Expert Patient Programme

Ahem, it has been some time since my last post. I guess I needed a break after our big meeting. I still have so much to say about that and will come back to it. I’ll share some photos that I now have, in a separate post. The video footage is with a friend of mine being prepared to be put online: I am pretty confident this is going to happen now, each step is slowly falling into place, bit by little bit. Hopefully it will be worth waiting for. J
I’ve had a couple of emails about the event as well which I haven’t yet responded to – if you are one of the people who’s been in touch and not heard back from me, please accept my apologies, I will get on the case in the next few days.
One of the things that was really interesting about our meeting was learning about the Expert Patients Programme (EPP)
EPP offer courses for people with chronic health conditions, to help them manage their conditions and get the most out of their doctors. At our event it was very clear that having a productive relationship with their doctor is one of the things many of us find most difficult and that most of us are keen to be proactive and positive about our situations.
 I had a follow up meeting the other day with Nurcan Cahill from the Programme, along with one of my fellow BTF London Team members who had invited them along to our event in the first place. Lots of us were really keen to do an EPP course together. But it turns out availability is extremely limited.
These courses are free but only available in areas where the Primary Care Trust (PCT) has commissioned EPP to deliver them. Hmmm, I am super lucky because I live in Camden and courses are available here I’m doing one starting on 25th May, contact EPP if you are local and would also like to take part. But can you believe, Camden is the ONLY London PCT that has commissioned EPP!! I was so shocked and disappointed for people living outside the area who will not be able to participate.
These courses have been proven to improve quality of life for people with chronic health issues - and reduce demands on primary healthcare resources. Why on earth isn’t every PCT in the country using them? Seriously, it’s a scandal. And that’s not a word I use lightly.
However anyone can buy the course book, it looks like you can pick it up very cheaply on Amazon, so that’s an option if you’re interested in knowing more about the EPP approach and you don’t live near me. I am reading it now and am impressed with it so far. Reading the first 3 chapters today I have created a little action plan to achieve my goal of losing a little weight, which I would dearly like to do. I am going to go out every other day and run for 5 minutes (all I’m fit for at the moment), then stretch for ten minutes afterwards and I am going to avoid sugar every other day too (I haven’t got the strength of will to avoid it completely right now though I hope that will change, I am so hooked on chocolate it’s not funny).
I did a little run earlier. Five minutes seems a ridiculously short amount of time to exercise but honestly I felt like I’d done an hour long workout! Stretching out afterwards on my yoga mat and doing some very gentle yoga-ish/pilates-like exercises, I felt very virtuous and could feel I’d got my heart pumping nicely. It’s enough for me right now and definitely did me some good. My challenge is not to do too much because I am ridiculously driven. But hopefully I can regain some fitness and maybe even drop a dress size in time for my cousin’s wedding next month, by adhering to my plan.
I’ll let you know how I get on when I do the actual course too. Or maybe I’ll see you there!
I’d love to hear from anyone who’s done anything like this before, or to know what you think of the idea. Please leave me a comment  if you’d like to, it’s great to know people are reading - and to connect. J
Click here for Contact details for Expert Patient Programme

1 comment:

  1. Just posting a quick update on the Expert Patient Programme, the course I was meant to do was cancelled. i'm now booked to start another one on 29th June - will post more once I've started it!