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The Beardmore Hotel hosted the 5th Scottish Pulmonary Vascular Unit Patient Day on Saturday the 17th of September. We wished to provide an opportunity for people with Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) and their relatives to meet other people in the same circumstances. We also hoped to provide some education about the condition and about the development and progress of the unit.


The day was broken into morning and afternoon sessions. The morning session consisted of a series of informal lectures followed by a question and answer session to a panel. Dr Chris Carlin kicked off the day by giving a bit of history on the development of PH therapies as well as the evolution of the SPVU in terms of the clinical management of PH as well as our research activities ? though perhaps he gave a bit too much information on the units social activities (Legally blonde the musical anyone?!)


We were then delighted to welcome Elaine MacKay, Lead Physiotherapist at the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit in Gartnavel General Hospital. Her helpful presentation talked us through breathlessness, breathing control and appropriate exercise in PH. This generated discussion about the available pulmonary rehabilitation classes within Scotland.


Finally Val Pollock provided tips for travelling with PH including consideration of insurance policies, oxygen provision during air travel and medication requirements. This was also quite an interactive lecture, with many of the audience providing anecdotes about their own travel experiences. Henry Casey also demonstrated his compact portable oxygen concentrator which created much excitement. He purchased this with help from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) UK.


The morning session was concluded with an interactive question and answer session to a panel, which consisted of Dr Martin Johnson, Agnes Crozier and Allan Smith (Senior Clinical Pharmacist).


It was certainly an informative morning and we would like to thank the speakers and the panel for all their hard work. Thanks also to all the audience for asking such interesting questions, generating discussion and in some cases, providing the answers to some questions! The feedback we have had has been overwhelmingly positive:


"Informal, informative session. Very enjoyable"

"Learned quite a lot about my condition"

"Informal and friendly panel of professionals"

"Good to share tips and information from/with other sufferers"

"Very informative speakers, well versed in their specialities, put over in a language easily understood by patients."

"I enjoy hearing from the staff and meeting other patients who understand Pulmonary Hypertension"

"Learned so much just from talking to people with PH"


The morning was followed by a delicious buffet lunch and a more relaxing afternoon where massages, reiki and reflexology were provided by Karen Gillies, Lizan Chambers, and Nigel Maltby. There was face painting for the kids provided by Linda Smith. And Elaine Mackay stuck around to carry out an exercise and breathing control workshop. Andrew Stewart, from the PHA UK, set up a stall, skilfully aided by one of the relatives, Jane McCulloch! They provide information on the benefits of joining the PHA and were successful in gaining a few more Scottish members through the course of the day. There was also opportunity for staff, patients and relatives to have more informal chats in the later part of the day. Thank you to everyone who provided the afternoons activities for helping to make the day such a success.


We would also like to thank Actelion, GSK and Pfizer who provided funding for the event. The PHA UK also helped to fund and organise the event and we would like to thank Caroline Drain and Andrew Stewart in particular. The oxygen concentrators and cylinders were supplied by Scottish Healthcare and many thanks to William McGee for helping to organise these. The Beardmore hotel provided excellent conference facilities, restaurant and accommodation and thanks go to Kirsten Burke for her help over the course of the weekend.


We also wish to thank Dr David Welsh, the SPVU research scientist, who instigated and organised the event and without whom, the patient day would not have happened. Thanks for all the hard work David!


Finally a big thank you to all the patients and relatives who attended and participated by asking questions and providing feedback; We are already brimming with ideas and will endeavour to improve this event for next year! We welcome further suggestions/feedback via spvunit@gjnh.scot.nhs.uk



SCOTTISH PULMONARY VASCULAR UNIT - All rights reserved - Clydebank, Scotland - 0141 951 5497 - SPVUnit@gjnh.scot.nhs.uk