A SPECIAL programme has been set up in Redbridge to help people with long-term illnesses to manage their own conditions without going to hospital.

NHS Redbridge set up the Expert Patients Programme (EPP) so that people with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis could learn to keep themselves healthy without visiting a doctor.

The EPP is run by a group of trained volunteers who suffer from long-term conditions themselves and can pass on their experiences and advice to others.

It also includes relaxation techniques and motivational tasks to help patients deal with stress and anxiety related to their conditions.

The programme was set up after the number of people living with these conditions reached more than 35,000 in Redbridge.

It lasts for six weeks and is run for between ten and 12 people, including an increasing number of younger patients.

For more information, call Sue Barthee on 8491 1576 or email sue.barthee@redbridge-pct.nhs.uk