A new report by Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland highlights the fact that the 1500 people in the Borders living with lung disease are not receiving the support they need.
They could, however, take a leaf out the book of an Eyemouth group who took matters into their own hands to exercise and socialise together as part of their rehabilitation.
The Eyemouth & District Rehab support group was set up by Jock Shiells who has lung disease and when he discovered there weren’t opportunities for people in the are to meet he decided to do something about it. Since then the group has gone from strength to strength with the support of Live Borders and Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.
Kath Byrne, policy manager at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland said: “The Borders is the only area in Scotland where there’s no pulmonary rehab at all – and so many people are missing out on essential and effective treatment which would help them regain their lives.”
Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland are asking people to write to their MSPs and local councillors about their experiences of living with lung disease, asking them to support their campaign.
After visiting the Eyemouth group last week Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton said: “I was concerned to hear about the gaps in NHS Borders’ support for people, and that it is the only health board in Scotland which doesn’t provide pulmonary rehabilitation to people living with lung disease. I’ll be taking that issue up with the board and at Parliament.”