Lung Exercise & Education Programme (LEEP)

LEEP is a 6 week course, held on Monday and Friday afternoons for 2 hours, of supervised exercise and education. Based at Cossham Hospital, LEEP provides pulmonary rehabilitation for suitable patients from across the North Bristol NHS Trust area.

The programme has been running since 1994 and was one of the first programmes to be set up in this country.

Each patient is individually assessed for suitability before starting the programme and various measurements are taken at the start and finish of the programme in order to calculate improvements during the 6 weeks.

We receive referrals from healthcare professionals in primary and secondary care. 

Since the programme began we have aimed to evolve and adapt to constantly improve the programme and patient experience.
We mainly see patients with COPD, although we also accept referrals for many other respiratory disorders, including:

  • Forms of pulmonary fibrosis
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic asthma

If you wish to be referred to LEEP speak to your GP, consultant or practice nurse. There are a number of other Pulmonary Rehabilitation venues for patients with a GP in the Bristol PCT. If we find a patient is not suitable for the LEEP programme we will work with the patient to find an alternative solution. 

Many of our patients report that they get great benefit from the social support network that LEEP provides. “Enjoyed the course immensely and amazed at how much I am actually able to do in the way of exercise” (Ron, March 2010).

“Found LEEP fantastic, it made me much more positive, confident and in control of my condition” (Pat, March 2010).

LEEP helps patients improve their quality of life and their self-management of their condition. We do this by using exercise to increase fitness and education to increase knowledge. We are very aware that an 7-week programme is only the start to this process so we spend time with each patient at the end of the programme discussing the most suitable way for them to continue exercising. We work hard at establishing links with community provided services to provide patients with sustainable ways to continue exercising.

LEEP is overseen by Dr David Smith, respiratory consultant, and is led by specialist respiratory physiotherapists - Susanna Barr and Victoria Sandrey. The programme is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of physiotherapists, physiotherapy assistants, respiratory nurses and psychologists, with input from occupational therapists, dieticians and respiratory consultants.

LEEP staff can be contacted via email leep@nbt.nhs.uk or via telephone 0117 3408546.