NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group has been named regional winners and shortlisted for a national award, in the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2021.
The NHS Parliamentary Awards provides an opportunity for health and care organisations to engage with their local MPs, tell them about the work they do, and build or strengthen ongoing relationships.
NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been shortlisted in the Excellence in Primary Care Award category for their virtual reality pulmonary rehabilitation programme.
Lung patients in North Lincolnshire were the first in the UK to benefit from a pioneering virtual reality pulmonary rehabilitation programme – offered for the first time on the NHS from February 2020. NHS North Lincolnshire CCG successfully submitted a bid to NHS England to fund the programme for people in North Lincolnshire living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) in late 2019.
GP practices in North Lincolnshire are now able to offer COPD patients a kit consisting of a virtual reality headset, wearable sensor and mobile data hotspot so that they can partake in pulmonary rehab exercises, led by a digital instructor, form the comfort of their own home. The immersive app places the wearer in a sun-kissed beachside training routine environment. Historically, pulmonary rehabilitation classes have typically been delivered in hospital outpatient departments by a physiotherapist.
All face-to-face pulmonary rehab programmes had to be suspended during the COVID-19 lockdown. But patients in North Lincolnshire were able to continue their rehab and in the comfort of their own home.
Dr Satpal Shekhawat, local GP and Medical Director for NHS North Lincolnshire CCG said:
“We are delighted that the virtual reality pulmonary rehabilitation programme has been recognised regionally, and nationally with this shortlisting.
“The programme has been greatly valued by our patients and the feedback we have received from them has been very positive. There are several benefits to virtual rehab; it delivers care closer to home, allows easy access and supports people equitably.
“During this pandemic, it has even helped patients with COVID-19 – when traditional rehab was suspended, our patients have continued to benefit from the virtual pulmonary rehabilitation programme.”
The awards ceremony is due to take place on Wednesday 7 July 2021 in Parliament, to which all nationally shortlisted nominees and their MPs will be invited.
For more information about the virtual reality pulmonary rehabilitation programme, please watch NHS North Lincolnshire CCG’s short video on their YouTube channel.