What is the Expert Patients Programme?
The Expert Patients Programme (EPP) is a self-management programme designed for people living with chronic conditions. It is designed to help them;
•Increase their confidence
•Help manage their condition more effectively
•Improve their quality of life
Many people with lupus find that they understand their condition better than their GP does. This is not surprising as the patients become experts as they learn to cope with their conditions, whilst GPs also tend not to have much experience with lupus. There is evidence that with proper support, people with chronic conditions can take the lead in managing their condition, hopefully leading to improved quality of life and reduced incapacity.
About EPP courses
The courses are available for free to anybody with a chronic condition and last six consecutive weeks. You don’t need to be referred (though it is probably beneficial to let your doctors know that you are attending). The initial course covers the following topics:
•Dealing with pain and extreme tiredness
•Coping with feelings of depression
•Relaxation techniques and exercises
•Communicating with friends, family and healthcare professionals
•Planning for the future
The sessions are run by two tutors with chronic conditions and you are free to participate as much or as little as you like.
Your doctor should be able to help you find a suitable course in your area. Alternatively you can search “Expert Patients Programme” plus the town or city where you live in Google. You can also enquire about EPP courses in your area by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 03333 445 840.
If you have taken part in an Expert Patient Programme, please share your experiences with us for next month’s blog - just email email@example.com