Pulmonary rehabilitation at Harefield Hospital

Clinic summary

Harefield Hospital's pulmonary rehabilitation service is one of the largest and leading rehabilitation programmes in the UK, with more than 1,000 referrals per year, and was the first clinical service to receive full national accreditation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is an exercise and educational programme designed to help patients with limiting symptoms due to respiratory conditions such as COPD

The aim of pulmonary rehabilitation is to improve patients' exercise tolerance and quality of life and reduce breathlessness. There is a strong evidence base to support this.

Harefield Hospital's pulmonary rehabilitation service has been running since 1 September 2009. The programme is run by a dedicated team of respiratory physiotherapists and exercise practitioners specialised in the delivery of pulmonary rehabilitation.

Harefield Hospital has a custom-built gymnasium with state-of-the-art equipment. We also run several community classes in: 

There is also a virtual class that patients can join via MS Teams if they are unable to attend in person.

We run eight-week programmes that patients attend twice weekly. Classes run every weekday and patients can choose morning or afternoon sessions.

Patients are given individualised exercise programmes suitable for their level of fitness. Alongside the exercises, there are educational sessions encompassing all aspects of respiratory care. 

During the programme, the level of exercise is increased as patients become fitter, so by the end of the programme they are less breathless and better able to cope with daily activities.

We encourage people to continue with an exercise programme at home after they have completed the course in order to maintain its benefits. We can also write a letter for you to take to your local gymnasium if you wish to join one.

Clinic days and times

Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:30pm

What makes this clinic unique? 

The pulmonary rehabilitation service at Harefield benefits from an expert multidisciplinary team including: 

  • a chest physician
  • specialist respiratory physiotherapists
  • exercise physiologists 
  • physiotherapy assistant practitioners
  • a wider educational team, including a psychologist, social worker, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, dietitian, respiratory nurse specialist and pharmacist.  

In addition, the pulmonary rehabilitation service works closely with the respiratory and pulmonary rehabilitation research team (also led by Dr Man). Their research ensures that we remain focused on continuous improvement in our delivery of a gold standard pulmonary rehabilitation programme and allows our patients to benefit from the use of novel training methods and cutting-edge technology.

What happens on the day of the clinic?

A full explanation of how the programme is structured can be found in the leaflets: 

Who should be referred?

Any respiratory patient with limiting breathlessness. We also offer specialist pulmonary rehabilitation for lung transplant recipients and patients recovering from curative lung cancer surgery

We offer a rapid access programme for patients recently discharged from hospital following an exacerbation of their respiratory condition. These patients are offered an assessment within two weeks and enrolment on a course within four weeks of referral.

How can patients be referred?

Referrals can be made by any healthcare professional (eg consultant, GP, nurse, physiotherapist) and can be made:

Pulmonary rehabilitation coordinator
Department of respiratory medicine
Harefield Hospital
Hill End Road

Please contact the coordinator on 01895 828851 if you have any questions.

Pulmonary rehabilitation contact details:

Pulmonary rehab gymnasium, second floor, Harefield Hospital
Telephone: 01895 828 851
Email and referrals: rbh-tr.harefieldpr@nhs.net 
Clinical lead: Dr William Man

Referral forms

Harefield Hospital pulmonary rehab referral form (Word, 137.5KB)