Portsmouth Hospital, UK: 8 March, 2011: An exercise programme, which is the first of its kind in the UK for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), has been hailed a success following the near completion of a pilot initiative coordinated by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and Solent Healthcare, with support from UCB Pharma Ltd.
The '10 out of 10' programme has been piloted in Portsmouth under the supervision of a Physiotherapy Rheumatology Clinical Specialist and the Health Improvement and Development Service (HIDS) from Portsmouth City Council.
RA is a painful type of arthritis affecting approximately 690,000 people in the UK.1 Any joint in the body can be affected but it is commonly the hands, feet and wrists.2
’10 out of 10’ offers local residents living with RA the opportunity to experience 10 different types of community-based exercise and fitness over a 10 week period and encourages patients to access local facilities, motivating them toward a long-term commitment toward exercise.
The programme consists of two hourly sessions once a week, which include the theory of the specific exercise followed by a one hour trial of each exercise. Each session focuses on a different exercise, including circuit-based activities, healthy walking, Pilates, Yoga, and Tai Chi.
“Appropriate, regular exercise is very important for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, even when they are experiencing a flare up of their symptoms. Being more active helps to control joint swelling and ultimately can reduce the pain, stiffness and fatigue a patient may experience,” said Colin Beevor, Matron and Service Manager of Musculoskeletal Outpatient Department Services at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham. “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Solent Healthcare and UCB in the ‘10 out of 10’ pilot which is improving the patient experience and has received positive feedback from patients.”
Although many patients understand that exercise can benefit their RA, there can be apathy amongst patients to commit to a regular exercise programme. Costs associated with exercise classes may be considered prohibitive for many and some patients may feel both stigmatised and embarrassed to attend classes.
Claire Jeffries, Solent Healthcare’s Physiotherapy Manager and Clinical Specialist in Hydrotherapy and Rheumatology said: “This programme gives RA patients a vital opportunity to learn what exercises are suitable for their condition and actually gives them the ability to try out an exercise form that they would otherwise not have had the confidence to do. Gaining confidence to do exercise in the first place is an essential element of patients self managing their condition. The 10 out of 10 programme helps patients achieve this on many levels.
'10 out of 10' has educated patients on the benefits of committing to an ongoing programme of exercise and has promoted the importance of exercising and enjoying fitness activities outside of the hospital setting. Private gyms and sport centres are being encouraged by the Trust and Solent Healthcare to offer discounted rates to patients with RA to facilitate patients independently continuing with exercise programmes. Facilities interested in offering this discount should contact Claire Jeffries from Solent Healthcare on 023 9228 6583. RA patients in the Portsmouth area who are interested in finding out more about the 10 out of 10 programme or the role of exercise in RA in general are advised to contact Colin Beevor at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust on 023 9228 6000.
“We are delighted to partner with Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and Solent Healthcare in this first of its kind initiative for patients with rheumatoid arthritis,” said Scott Fleming Global Communications Manager for Immunology at UCB. “UCB prides itself on delivering positive contributions to the lives of patients living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and the success of this pilot supports this.”
Patient feedback has been positive as Mrs Alison Snape, aged 38 from Gosport, explained, “I have always tried to keep active and this programme has taught me a range of different exercises that I can do within my physical restrictions. The programme has broadened my perspective on what exercises I can do and it has given me confidence to pursue alternative exercises independently.”
As ‘10 out of 10’ is a pilot project, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Solent Healthcare, and HIDS will evaluate the project and make recommendations for future implementation across the local area, with a view to supporting other units throughout the UK with similar initiatives.
Interviews / Further Information
RA patients who have participated in the ‘10 out of 10’ programme are available for interview, as are Colin Beevor and Claire Jefferies.
· For any further information or to arrange an interview with an RA patient or Colin Beevor, please contact Becky Attwood, Communications Officer for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, on 023 9228 6712
· Interviews with Claire Jefferies can be arranged through Elton Dzikiti, Assistant Communications Manager, Solent Healthcare, on 023 8060 8934
· For queries about UCB please contact Julie Masters on 0207 395 7129 or Scott Fleming on 01753 777116
About Solent Healthcare
Solent Healthcare was created on 1 April 2010 through the integration of Southampton Community Healthcare and Portsmouth Community and Mental Health Services. It is hosted by Southampton City Primary Care Trust and provides community health services throughout Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire.
About Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the largest acute trusts in the country providing a range of emergency and other care services to more than 500,000 people across Portsmouth, South East Hampshire and beyond. The Trust runs the Wessex Renal and Transplant Unit, one of two units in the South Central Region and is one of two designated NHS Cancer Centres in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
UCB is a global biopharmaceutical company which aspires to be the patient-centric global biopharmaceutical leader transforming the lives of people living with severe diseases. The ‘10 out of 10’ programme is one element of UCB’s ongoing commitment to improving the lives of people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and their families.
About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive disease which causes chronic inflammation of the joints. It generally affects the smaller joints in the body such as hands, wrists, feet and ankles; however the systemic nature of the condition means that it can also affect the body as a whole, including internal organs and the vascular system.
RA is one of a group of conditions classified as autoimmune diseases, where the body mistakenly attacks its own immune system.3 In RA, inflammatory processes target the tissue that surrounds each joint known as the synovium. This leads to swelling and damage of cartilage and bones of the synovial-lined joints.
1) National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, Economic Burden of RA Report, 2010
2) National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society. What is RA? 2011. [online]. [Accessed 24 February 2011]. Available: http://www.nras.org.uk/about_rheumatoid_arthritis/what_is_ra/what_is_ra.aspx
3) Karopka T et al. The Autoimmune Disease Database: A dynamically complied literature derived database BMC Bioinformatics 2006; 7:235.