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Support group launches for patients with claudication

Patients from The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (RBCH) who suffer from claudication – narrowing of the arteries – have set up a support group.

The group, self-named the Artery Army, meets every month to exercise together, support each other and share hints and tips, to enable them to better cope with the symptoms of claudication. The group is open to patients diagnosed with claudication who have attended the hospital’s supported exercise program.

Claudication is a condition in which the arteries narrow, due to a hardening of the artery itself, which results in a discomfort in the legs during exercise.

During a recent meeting, the group selected two chairs, Lawrence Glover and John Chalmers.

Lawrence, one of the two chairs, said: “We’re so pleased to have this group – it’s exactly the platform we’ve been looking for. It can feel quite isolating when you’re unable to be as active as you’d like because of the pain in your legs.”

Claire Thomson, an advanced vascular nurse practitioner at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, said: “It became clear there was a need for a patient support group and so the Artery Army came to be. It’s been shaped by the patients themselves – after all, they know what sort of support they need most. It’s a new group but so far we’ve hosted exercise sessions, coffee afternoons and much more. We’re so proud of this patient-led initiative and look forward to watching it grow and prosper.”

If you experience claudication and would like support with exercise, watch this video made by the Artery Army.

To come along to the group or to find out more, email claire.thomson@rbch.nhs.uk.

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