Western Sussex Hospitals have joined up with Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals to form a new NHS Foundation Trust for our area: University Hospitals Sussex.

You can keep using this website for information about St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands hospitals but for our other sites and to find out more about the new trust please visit www.uhsussex.nhs.uk.

Classes and education

The pulmonary rehab programme at St Richard’s offers twice-weekly exercise classes and education sessions over a seven-week period.

All sessions are held in the physiotherapy department at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and last two hours each.

How can I get referred to the programme?

To join the pulmonary rehabilitation programme you must be referred by a healthcare professional.

Referral forms can be completed by your GP, practice nurse, hospital consultant, physiotherapist and most other healthcare practitioners, but patients are not able to self-refer.

If you have any questions about your referral, please call us on 01243 788122 ext 35184.


Before starting a programme of pulmonary rehabilitation you will need an individual assessment with the pulmonary rehabilitation multidisciplinary team. This assessment appointment will be arranged when we call you to discuss your referral.

Assessments take place on Monday and Wednesday afternoons in the Munro Unit at St Richard’s Hospital.

During your appointment, you will be assessed by a physiotherapist, a member of the occupational therapy team, a nurse and a dietitian if indicated.

We will also discuss your condition, check your general physical and emotional health and assess your physical ability. The assessment will take around 2½ hours.

You will then be offered a programme start date as soon as is convenient for you

What happens in a class?

The first hour of each session is an individually-designed exercise class consisting of:

  • Warm up – gentle body movements to prepare your muscles, joints, heart and mind for activity
  • Cardiovascular – exercise that raises your heart rate and makes you breathless
  • Strengthening – exercise using weights or resistance to build your muscles
  • Cool down – gentle movement and stretches to reduce your heart rate and allow your body to return to normal

Education sessions

The second hour is dedicated to education; this is provided by various healthcare professionals covering a whole range of subjects.

Talks take place in an informal setting and give you the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the topics with the other members of the class. Subjects covered include:

  • Chest clearance / how to manage a exacerbation
  • Your lung condition explained
  • Anxiety and relaxation
  • Energy conservation
  • Breathlessness management
  • Eating well with your lung condition
  • Respiratory medications explained
  • Benefits of exercise
  • Advice on pacing
  • Follow up exercise options

Once the course has finished…

The benefits you gain from attending pulmonary rehabilitation classes need to be maintained.

Once you have finished the course you will need to continue exercising, carry on using the techniques you have learned and keep following the advice you have been given.

Options for continuing exercise are discussed in the course and arrangements for onwards referrals can be completed by your physiotherapist.  


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