Theatre News

ENO rolls out national NHS Trust scheme to provide breathing exercises for those recovering from Covid

Music and medicine combine to help those affected by the virus

Alexandra Oomens
Alexandra Oomens
© Karla Gowlett for ENO

The ENO has revealed plans to offer a nationwide breathing exercise programme for those recovering from Covid-19.

Following a pilot scheme that took place last autumn, the initiative will be rolled out to up to 1,000 patients by participating healthcare networks across London and the North of England.

As part of the programme, created in a partnership between the ENO and Imperial College Healthcare, those recovering from Covid engage in activities to bolster their breathing awareness and focus through the singing of lullabies.

Participants use techniques employed by professional opera singers to provide greater physical coordination. They are then encouraged to repeat these within their own time to help augment their recovery following what can often be quite intense periods of illness.

Jenny Mollica, Director of ENO Baylis said: "The ENO are committed to making a difference to the lives of people and communities recovering from COVID-19, using our unique skills and resources in ways that are relevant and useful – and that matter to people. Following our successful pilot programme, we are hugely proud to be able to roll out ENO Breathe nationally, enabling us to support many more patients in their recovery from COVID and journey back to wellness.

"Combining cutting edge musical and medical expertise, we look forward to continuing our partnership with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and to working with post-COVID assessment clinics across the country in this next phase of the programme."

One of the participants in the pilot, Richard, said: "My experience with ENO Breathe has been fantastic, it has really aided me enormously with my breathlessness and also my anxiety a little around re-integrating myself back into society."

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