Rheumatology patients campaign for Yoga Therapy services at Central Middlesex Hospital
PUBLISHED: 10:31 21 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:31 21 June 2019
Hundreds of rheumatology patients are campaigning for yoga therapy to be part of their treatment at Central Middlesex Hospital.
The Rheumatology Patient Support Group at the hospital argues the costs of treating their long term conditions would be lower if holistic therapies were commissioned.
Vidhi Sadana, a consultant yoga physiotherapist, who speaks on behalf of 650 patients in the support group, said their appeals to Brent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are "falling on deaf ears".
Rheumatology patients invariably suffer from debilitating conditions such as fatigue, joint pain, joint stiffness, joint deformity, depression, all of which can be alleviated with yoga therapy, argues Ms Sadana.
"We've got a campaign going on to have yoga therapy as part of the clinic that everyone can have access to."
The Group has been "tirelessly" working with front line staff and now have a strong e -data base.
Online surveys have been conducted to improve services in the Rheumatology Unit at the hospital.
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In one resent survey results showed 50 percent of the patients suffered with depression and anxiety that displayed a strong link between mental health when dealing with physical chronic conditions.
Countering this, a service evaluation was conducted using yoga therapy.
She said: "The service had outstanding results with 65pc drop in depression rates and 49pc drop in anxiety rates and even a drop in pain levels and improvement in quality of life measures and functionality.
"We gave them tools and they stuck with it which in turn improved depression and anxiety rates and improved self care behaviours.
"Our message of requiring a service that not only needs a drug intervention but a holistic approach is falling on deaf years at the CCG."
She said between 12 per cent and 18 per cent of all NHS expenditure on long-term conditions - between £8 billion and £13 billion in England every year - is linked to poor mental health and wellbeing.
"With such an amount spent by the NHS, we are hoping that the NHS England and Brent CCG can invest in new multidimensional approaches such as yoga therapy that the patients themselves are requesting," she said. "Otherwise the Five Year Forward drawn up by the NHS England which suggests integration of mental health with physical conditions and empowering patients in their own health is a just a paper exercise."
A Brent CCG spokesperson said: "The CCG has would very happy for the Rheumatology Patient Support Group at Central Middlesex Hospital to share their evidence from the pilot, with a view to meeting when we have been able to review their evidence."