Respiratory Network: Q&A with Campaign Clinicians

The pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) campaign was launched in March 2023 and is communicating with thousands of people across Greater Manchester.

It has so far reached 27,000 people via social media, with just under 100 people a day visiting the website to find out more information.

Here, Sue Mason and Jonny Lee (pictured above), two of our Respiratory Network clinical advisors, answer questions about PR and the campaign.

Q: What is your job title and what does your day-to-day job involve? How many years have you worked for the NHS?

Sue: I’ve worked for the NHS for 36 years, mostly specialising in respiratory medicine. My current job role, as an ARAS Lead Nurse, I have been doing for over 20 years. The service was set up in October 2001 delivering hospital at home for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. It now provides hospital at home and chronic support, PR programmes, oxygen assessment clinics and COVID clinics

A typical working day would include both clinical and non-clinical duties, ranging from working with the team supporting respiratory patients and delivering clinics, to building links with the community to enhance the care for our patients, or doing all that managing 18 members of staff involves.

Jonny: I’ve worked for the NHS now for just over 10 years, mostly specialising in cardiorespiratory care. My current job role is a senior practitioner physiotherapist, whereby I provide leadership for the Trafford Pulmonary Rehabilitation team.

A typical working day would include both clinical and non-clinical duties, ranging from working with the team running an exercise and education class to analysing data about our service performance or building links with the community to enhance the care for our patients.

What is your role at the GMEC Strategic Clinical Networks and what does it entail?

Sue: My role as a clinical advisor allows us to gather those delivering PR, those who traditionally commissioned it and the SCN together, to enable whole scale system change which hopefully promotes better outcomes for patients. We provide clinical information to the SCN and support the respiratory steering groups hopefully keeping patients at the forefront of discussions and plans.

Jonny: My role as a clinical advisor allows the gap between the clinical perspective and the GMEC SCN to be connected. Myself and Sue provide assistance and guidance from the GMEC SCN to the Pulmonary rehab GM service leads and vice versa.

You have been involved recently in the PR campaign. Why was it decided to promote the exercise programme in particular?

Sue: Although we know that PR is the golden treatment for our patients, over the years I have been involved we have struggled to get people onto the programmes. This is due to several reasons but a main one is inappropriate referrals which take up a lot of the services’ time to sort. We hope that the PR campaign will raise awareness of what PR really is, both to patients and referrers, so that the right people are referred at the right time leading to more patients completing the course and continuing to keep active and breathe better!

Pictured above: a social media graphic from the campaign.

Can you briefly explain what the programme is? How has the exercise programme improved the lives of people who you have worked with?

Jonny: Pulmonary rehab is an exercise and education programme which aims to improve the quality of life of people with long-term lung disease. This is done following a thorough assessment, 6- week programme of education focusing on self-management tools and an individual tailored exercise regime involving aerobic and strength fitness.

Social and physical activity schemes are offered following the completion of the programme in order to continue the progress made.

How has the campaign been received by your colleagues in your PR teams? 

Sue: For us in North Manchester, the campaign has fulfilled a dream we have had for a while of getting a ‘northern’ video to promote the course that GPs could use to both educate patients and be informed themselves about PR and its role in the self-management of respiratory patients.

Across GM, hopefully by the one message getting out across the system and area, everyone is better informed in a way that as individual teams we would have struggled to get set up.

Jonny: The campaign has set up foundations to build upon and has enabled us to utilise new resources to work towards the NHS long term plan of increasing referral, access, uptake and completion rates of pulmonary rehab.

It is critical the ‘sell’ of pulmonary rehab is delivered with high quality, at the right time.

How can clinicians in Greater Manchester support the campaign?

Jonny: Firstly, please familiarise yourselves with your local pulmonary rehab service and ensure you are confident of ‘’selling’’ our programme. Consider contacting your local pulmonary rehab to observe a class and build links with the team. Ensure you check out the new GM PR website for all the relevant information.

Sue: As Jonny has said really:

  • Check out the new GM PR website for all the relevant information.
  • Know your local PR courses – the where, who and when – go to see a course, or education events your local teams may be holding in the summer, so you are fully able to explain the sessions to patients.
  • Promote activity for all your respiratory patients and discuss with them – be that PR, local exercise classes/gyms, local walks or even tea dances!


This article was originally featured Greater Manchester & Eastern Cheshire Strategic Clinical Networks Bulletin.

For information on the TLCO Pulmonary Rehabilitation Service, please click here.