COPD patients in Greater Manchester get the Aardman treatment in new animation

Patients get chance to be in COPD film developed by famous animators

  • Patients in Greater Manchester have lent their voices and stories to a new animation from the creators of Wallace & Gromit, focused on COPD
  • Patients can have their say on care as part of pilot feedback project Rate My Inhaler and the chance to be animated by Aardman for a future film
  • Initiative is part of a Greater Manchester COPD Improvement Project, led by Health Innovation Manchester

Engaging new animations from Aardman are helping to enhance COPD care in Greater Manchester

Animated cats, squirrels and pigeons have been sharing their experiences of living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) as part of a new video from world-famous animators, Aardman.

The Academy Award-winning studio, which created Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, and Creature Comforts, has used testimonials collected from real patients and clinicians to create a unique film designed to raise awareness of COPD and give patients a voice and chance to improve care.

The film sees COPD patients in the Greater Manchester area discussing their symptoms, their experience of living with the condition, and why it is important for patients to have a voice – all while animated as a variety of animals and pets.

Where you get authentic characters, talking with the insight that can only come from people who really understand what living with COPD is like, then add some gentle humour, you get an emotional impact that makes people take notice, think, and then hopefully change their behaviour

It also encourages other patients to have their say on their care as part of a new pilot feedback project, Rate My Inhaler, which is currently running in Greater Manchester as part of a wider COPD programme.

Health Innovation Manchester, the organisation responsible for accelerating proven innovation into Greater Manchester’s health and social care services, has worked in collaboration with healthcare company GSK and iWantGreatCare (iWGC), the world’s-largest independent patient feedback platform, on the project.

The service offers patients the chance to rate and review, not only the care they received from their clinicians; but, for the first time, review their prescribed COPD maintenance inhalers.

Patients have leant their voices to a collection of animated pets

The aim is to ensure patients have a voice to inform the health system, in turn leading to greater patient participation in how their care is provided in Manchester.

Patients who provide feedback will also have the chance to become animated as an Aardman character and share their experiences on how the project has made a difference.

COPD, the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties, is the fifth-biggest killer in the UK and it costs the NHS more than £1billion annually.

There are around 67,000 patients diagnosed with COPD living in Greater Manchester and the cost of managing associated hospital admissions and medications is around £73m a year.

Consultant chest physician at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Binita Kane, who is clinical lead for Health Innovation Manchester COPD programme, said: “Living with COPD can be very distressing, especially when problems become more severe and people experience extreme breathlessness.

“However, it is also a condition which can be better managed if patients have the right support and guidance and feel empowered to make a difference to their own care.

“The film is an engaging way to raise awareness of COPD in Greater Manchester and offers patients the chance to provide feedback about their experiences so we can improve care for patients in the future.”

Jon Twinn, managing director at iWantGreatCare, added: “Harnessing the patient voice is vital to learn more about COPD patients’ experience of their treatment.

“It is exciting to be part of a project that enables the patient voice to be heard in such an innovative and collaborative way.”

And Heather Wright, executive director of partner content at Aardman, said: “Storytelling can be a great way of landing a difficult message.

“Where you get authentic characters, talking with the insight that can only come from people who really understand what living with COPD is like, then add some gentle humour, you get an emotional impact that makes people take notice, think, and then hopefully change their behaviour.”

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