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  1. ITV Report

Lung cancer patients at Morriston Hospital prescribed with gym sessions

Patients received two 70-minute sessions a week during a three-week pilot scheme.

A consultant at Morriston Hospital is prescribing lung cancer patients with gym sessions ahead of surgery.

75 per cent of patients became suitable for surgery after a six-month pilot scheme, according to consultant surgeon Ira Goldsmith.

Patients received two 70-minute sessions a week over a three-week period.

Patients are assessed by a physiotherapist before being taught the exercises.

Mr Goldsmith said patients were initially skeptical about the prescription, with some believing there was nothing they could do about getting old.

"Yes they have frailty because they are old, but you can give them primary physiotherapy and rehab, and improve them.

"We could show their survival rates were the same as those who don't have frailty."

We use it as a holistic approach so we need to look at [patients] functionally and physically.

We're looking at their cardiovascular status, we're looking at their respiratory function, but it all boils down to their quality of life.

Are we able to provide them with a good quality of life after a potential surgery, or even chemotherapy treatment if that's the pathway that they take?

– Hannah Toghill, Senior Physiotherapist
Mr Goldsmith hopes the initiative will be rolled out across Wales.
20%
The increase in the resection rates in Wales since 2009, according to Ira Goldsmith.

The pilot programme involved a physiotherapist assessing the patient before they were taught the exercises.

"There are 12 stations in all and they go around the whole circuit alternating lower body and upper body exercises," Mr Goldsmith said.

He added: "We found that by improving their breathlessness they are safely able to undergo surgery.

"Most importantly, it was making inoperable patients operable."

Mr Goldsmith hopes the initiative will be rolled out across Wales.