I had COVID-19 and I am still suffering, how can I join? If you have had confirmed COVID-19 and are still struggling with symptoms of breathlessness 8 weeks after recovering from the main symptoms, your GP should refer you to your local specialist post-COVID clinic. They will medically assess you and, if they think that you are medically suitable, they will be able to refer you onto the programme.
My local post-COVID clinic is not yet partnered with ENO Breathe, what can I do?
Please let us know which post-COVID clinic you have approached and we will aim to make contact with them to ensure you can be referred. Please allow four to six weeks for us to process arrangements with a new post-COVID clinic.
Why do I need to wait eight or ten weeks after having recovered from COVID-19 before being able to be referred to this programme?
Hospitalised patients must wait 8 weeks after hospital discharge and Community patients must wait 10 weeks after diagnosis / onset of symptoms (e.g 2 weeks illness + 8 weeks recovery). This is because many patients will naturally recover in the first eight weeks post infection. This programme is specifically designed for patients still suffering with more long-standing symptoms.
Why do I need to be referred through a post-COVID service when these services can be hard to access/have long waiting lists?
Whilst our programme has been designed in collaboration with a team of medical professionals, it does not include a medical assessment. ENO Breathe therefore requires that all patients referred to the programme be medically assessed at a local post COVID service against our medical referral criteria. This is to ensure the programme is appropriate and safe for them to take part. Post COVID services are best placed to carry out these assessments due to the tests and assessments they are already carrying out on their patients.
I have been referred by a specialist post-COVID clinic. What do I do now?
Your post-COVID clinic will have given you a referral code. If they haven’t done so, please check back with them to ensure you have this referral code. Once you have the code, you can register your details online and a member of ENO Breathe will be in touch with you.
A singing for breathing programme already exists – how is this any different?
ENO Breathe is an online breathing and wellbeing programme designed specifically for people who are recovering from Covid-19 and experiencing ongoing breathlessness and associated anxiety.
I struggle with my breathing but don’t have post-COVID syndrome – why is this programme not available to me?
The exercises involved in the ENO Breathe programme have been specifically designed to support people manage symptoms specific to post-COVID syndrome and are not evidence based and therefore may not be suitable for supporting people with other respiratory conditions.
I live outside of England. Can I join the programme?
ENO Breathe has been built using the structure of post-COVID services set up by NHS England. Therefore the programme is currently only available for people living in England.
I am a GP, how can I refer patients?
Patients will need to be medically assessed against our specific medical criteria. If you are a GP, please get in touch at email@example.com to receive full details of ENO breathe medical criteria and referral suitability.
I am a link worker, how can I refer patients?
Link workers are advised to guide their patients to their local specialist post-COVID clinic so that they are medically assessed. The medical criteria for the project is specific and rigorous in order to ensure it is safe and suitable for the participants. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive full details of ENO breathe medical criteria and referral suitability.
I lead a post-COVID clinic, how can we offer this programme to our patients?
Please get in touch with us at email@example.com. As a first step, we will organise a video conference call with your team to talk through the programme and discuss the next steps.
What is the referral process?
Specialist post-COVID clinics are partnering with us to be able to refer patients onto the programme. Once a patient has been assessed by a partner specialist post-COVID clinic and deemed medically suitable for our programme, the patient will be given a referral code. The patient will then be able to self-refer by registering directly on our website.
What happens once I have registered on the programme?
Once you have completed the registration form, you will be contacted by the ENO Breathe team and offered a one-to-one discussion with your session leader and programme manager/coordinator. This one-to-one is for us to get to know you and to ensure that your situation meets the essential criteria that this programme will be responding to. It will also be an opportunity to share all the details and information about the programme and for you to ask us any questions you might have. Once this is completed and satisfactory on both parts, you will be assigned to a specific group.
What if I cannot make the time/dates of my assigned group?
If you are assigned to a group that falls on a time of the week that doesn’t suit you, let the ENO Breathe team know at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be put on a waiting list and assigned to a new group as soon as one opens.
What will I be doing in a session?
The group sessions will take place online once a week, for six weeks. There will be warm-ups, exercises using singing, breath work, and exercises to deepen awareness of physical sensation. All exercises can be done sitting or standing. Read more about the content of sessions here.
I can’t sing/don’t like singing. Is that a problem?
This is not a problem at all. Most people joining us have never sung before. Singing is the vehicle used to achieve a particular outcome: to improve your breathlessness through aligning body, mind and breathing.
Musically, the programme uses lullabies to calm and soothe. Lullabies are known for being accessible to any vocal range. The sessions take place online via Zoom which does not allow for multiple voices to be singing together, so you will be muted in all the singing sections during a session.
What are the medical criteria to be able to join the programme?
We ask all referring specialist post-COVID clinics and GPs to follow our medical criteria referring a patient onto the programme. Please get in touch at email@example.com to receive full details on ENO breathe medical criteria and referral suitability.
Is ENO Breathe a medical programme?
ENO Breathe is not a medical programme and we are explicit with participants about this. It has been co-designed with respiratory specialists at Imperial College NHS Trust and continues to have the governance and support of clinicians, but is not a medically led programme. Our session leaders are singers trained to deliver this material, not doctors. Clinicians from our partner clinics observe sessions but do not act as doctors within the delivery of the programme. Because we are a non-medical programme, ensuring that participants meet our eligibility criteria is vital.
English is not my first language. Can I still join?
Yes, absolutely. Although the sessions are led in English, all the exercises will be demonstrated on screen so non-native English speakers will be able to follow too. The music comes from all over the world. Lyrics are simple and led as a call and response, and with some songs there are no words at all.
I don’t have a computer, laptop or smartphone. How can I still take part?
All sessions are currently taking place online. If you do not have access to technology, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss how we can support you. Alternatively, we also recommend getting in touch with your local library. Local libraries are currently open to provide access to IT and digital services.
I understand that all online sessions take place on Zoom. I have never used Zoom before. What do I do?
When you register online, please tick the box specifying that you are not familiar using Zoom. We will then give you a phone call first to guide you through it.
Singing has long been proven to improve health and general wellbeing. It releases endorphins, engages abdominal and intercostal muscles and the diaphragm and stimulates circulation. Singing has also been proven to help us breathe more deeply.
The programme encourages a combined approach in which we train the mind to work with the body, mirroring techniques used by opera singers. Participants will learn strategies to help focus constructively on their breathing, in a musically soothing environment.
Traditional lullabies are universal in their appeal. They cross boundaries of culture and tend to sit comfortably within a non-specialist singer’s vocal range, making them accessible for people who may feel singing is not for them, or who are anxious about their physiological capability.
Will I be singing opera?
We have chosen to focus on lullabies to calm and soothe. Although some lullabies appear in operas, we will not be singing operatic pieces. Once you join the programme, you will have access to a recorded and filmed playlist of lullabies, performed and curated especially by the ENO for participants on the programme.
What do the online resources contain?
Read more and view an outline of the online resources.
What happens after the six week programme?
You will receive access to post-programme digital resources, designed to support you to continue the exercises on your own. In addition, all post programme participants will have access to weekly twilight drop-in online sessions.
Who is funding this programme?
To date, ENO Breathe has been generously funded by donations from ENO Supporters and Members. Our development team at ENO are continuing to raise funds for the next phases of the programme.
I would like to support this programme. How can I get involved?
If you would like to make a donation towards the programme, please follow this link or get in touch with Katherine Sayer at email@example.com