Pulmonary Rehabilitation Network

Lung Foundation Australia has been working for over a decade to reduce the burden of lung disease in Australia.  The Lung Foundation recognises the importance of early diagnosis, appropriate treatment and patient support.  As part of the patient care, it is recognised that Pulmonary Rehabilitation plays a significant role in the wellbeing of our patients.  A register of pulmonary rehabilitation programs around the country is held at the Lung Foundation and we have approximately 260 programs.  Many programs have waiting lists or struggle for funding.  In rural and remote areas there may not be full programs available.  We also recognise the need for ongoing maintenance and are aware of the lack of community based programs appropriate for this patient group.

In 2012 the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Network was developed with the main purpose of providing a forum for sharing ideas; provide peer support to new and developing programs, and to promote increased access to pulmonary rehabilitation across Australia.

The Lung Foundation envisaged that in consultation with this group potential projects would include: the development of national pulmonary rehabilitation guidelines, advocacy for MBS rebate for Pulmonary Rehabilitation and maintenance, and the development of a national training program for pulmonary rehabilitation. Since the commencement of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Network numerous actions and steps forward have already been taken to ensure the successful completion of the projects set out by the Lung Foundation.

The disciplines currently involved include but are not limited to physiotherapists, clinical nurses, respiratory specialist physicians , social workers, psychologists, OT’s and accredited exercise physiologists.

Within this network there are also 24 state representatives who volunteer their time to actively participate in teleconferences as needs arise and participate in working groups as required. There is an annual face-to-face meeting at the TSANZ annual conference open to all members interested. This annual meeting is also available via teleconference for all members. Minutes of any State Representative meetings are disseminated to all Pulmonary Rehabilitation Network Members for information and/or feedback and input.

Being a member of this network will provide access to the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Network Online Forum. After a trial phase by State Representatives in June/July 2013, this forum is now available for all network members to use. The intended use of the forum is to increase network support and to decrease the need for regular teleconferences. In addition increasing connectedness between all involved in Pulmonary Rehabilitation across Australia to facilitate best clinical practice across the country is a major aim.

The online forum allows questions to be asked at any time, with the ability for fellow members to answer or provide advice. Furthermore the forum also supports the development of new materials such as the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Guidelines, and a uniting front in advocacy for Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Once membership is confirmed to this network all new members will be provided with information on how to login from the program manager.

As a part of the development of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation network, a Terms of Reference has been formulated by network members. Please find the current Terms of Reference in the below attachment. This document highlights the aims and objects of the network, in addition to the membership terms.

The Lung Foundation continues to seek interest from health professionals Australia wide to join the network if you:

  • Work with COPD patients in a clinical environment and/or
  • Have involvement in COPD research
  • Are recognised as a member of a pulmonary rehabilitation team
National Pulmonary Rehabilitation Network ToR Terms of Reference (103 KB)

If you  are interested in being a part of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Network, or would like more information please contact enquiries@lungfoundation.com.au.  Once membership is confirmed you will obtain a username and password for the online forum.

Click here to enter the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Network Online Forum.