Vikki Howells AM raises access to pulmonary rehabilitation with First Minister

Vikki Howells AM has asked the Welsh Government how it is improving access to vital rehabilitation services for the 2000 people in Cynon Valley affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

16 November marks World COPD Day, which raises awareness of issues faced by people suffering from this group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which together kill more people in wales per year than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

The Cynon Valley AM used the occasion to highlight to the First Minister problems faced in accessing pulmonary rehabilitation by people living in the southern part of her constituency.

Vikki Howells AM said:-

“I recently met with the British Lung Foundation to discuss access to pulmonary rehabilitation services for the 2,000 people in my constituency living with COPD.

“While those in the north Cynon GP cluster are transported to Merthyr with relative ease, those in the south can face difficulties, having to travel to Tonypandy, often over two mountains, for their pulmonary rehabilitation.

“What can the Welsh Government do to improve access to this cost-effective treatment in the Cynon Valley?”

First Minister Carwyn Jones AM replied:-

“We do recognise that there are areas where access is difficult, and it’s why we’re improving access to validated exercise programmes as part of the respiratory disease implementation group’s priority areas.

“The group is creating an all-Wales data set, to better understand provision and uptake, in order to make sure that the reach is as deep as possible, in order for the programmes to be delivered properly.

“So, access is an issue that is being considered at this moment in time.”