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Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) Insight Tool

The Innovation Agency has developed the PR Insight Tool for clinical PR teams, supported by their commissioners, in response to COVID-19.

The PR Insight Tool aims to:

  • demonstrate an optimal ‘virtual first’ PR pathway that increases self-management and engagement in PR exercise programmes.
  • demonstrate mixed-media solutions which can access all patients groups during a pandemic.
  • provide information to support a business case for commissioning, service design and implementation.
  • support the PR workforce as it faces increased pressures to meet the needs of different patient cohorts.



Services across the North West Coast are adopting a number of approaches to deliver PR as the pandemic has created large waiting lists, traditional PR classes are on hold and patients are now more difficult to access because of shielding and social distancing.

There are a range of digital solutions which could be used in combination with outdoor or community classes in the redesign of PR services, but the clinicians may not know the scope and functionality of these software solutions, and how their services can adapt effectively and plan future commissioning.

A scoping exercise with PR teams across Cheshire and Merseyside and central Lancashire identified patient groups referred to PR which helped the development of the insight tool.


Cheshire and Merseyside Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) services quality improvement workshops

Respiratory disease affects one in five people in England (PHE, 2015) and hospital admissions for lung disease are increasing at three times the rate of all admissions generally (BLF, 2017): it remains a major factor in winter pressures faced by the NHS.

The NHS Long Term Plan aims to increase PR referrals from 13 to 60 per cent of all those eligible (NHS, 2019) in response to NHS England/NHS Improvement funding which allows PR teams and their commissioners to improve and standardise the service pathways and focus on population health across the integrated health system (ICS).

The Innovation Agency has been working with Cheshire and Merseyside PR service leads to discuss how we address needs highlighted by the teams and create an optimal and inclusive PR pathway.

The workshops explore issues raised by the clinical teams during COVID-19 and facilitates change with the use of quality improvement approaches and tools such as the PR Insight tool-kit.


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