PEOPLE in Huddersfield who have long-term medical conditions are being offered a chance to help themselves.
They are being urged to take more control over their health by joining the Huddersfield Central and South Huddersfield Primary Care Trusts Expert Patient Programme.
One course is under way at Newsome Working Men's Club and another three will soon be held throughout Kirklees.
The courses are free and transport will be provided if needed. Participants will be expected to attend one session weekly for six weeks and take part in group discussions, activities and individual exercises.
The programme helps people cope with illnesses such as arthritis, asthma, back pain, diabetes, heart conditions, multiple sclerosis and depression.
It is designed to complement the work of doctors and nurses by helping patients manage their condition and improve their quality of life.
Courses will be held at Golcar Clinic from Thursday until December 8, 9.30am to noon; the Chestnut Centre, Deighton, January 11 until February 15, 10am to 12.30pm; and Skelmanthorpe Health Centre, February 1 until March 8, 10am to 12.30pm.
The trusts have been running courses in Huddersfield since 2002.
One patient who completed the programme said: "Before the course I was very unfit. A year ago my level of pain would be 10 on a scale of one to 10. Now it is one. It has given me my life back."
To register for a course, ring Alexis Ritchie on 01484 466172 or email alexis.ritchie@hudders fieldcentral-pct.nhs.uk