Your Breathing Matters – online learning sessions open to all

We asked people who live with respiratory conditions, and their families, what they thought would help them to live as well as possible and they told us that they’d like to be able meet members of their respiratory healthcare team, learn from them and be able to ask questions outside of clinical settings.

In response, we are now planning to hold regular online sessions focused on “living well with your respiratory condition and symptoms”.  Sessions will be offered every month or 6 weeks, with each session having a different focus, and led by respiratory and self-management specialists from the NHS and 3rd sector.  Sessions will always include the opportunity to ask questions, either in advance (by email) or during the session itself.  There is no need to speak unless you want to.

Videos and presentations from previous sessions (more details below)

N.B. Each of the links below opens in a new window/tab.

Asthma - a talk about living well with asthma, by Corinne Clark, Specialist Respiratory Nurse (Aug'22)

Breathing, Thinking and Functioning - a talk by Michelle Duffy, Specialist Respiratory Nurse (Feb'22)

Bronchiectasis - a presentation by Dr Anne-Marie Shanks, Respiratory Consultant (Jul'23)

Bronchiectasis Self-Management - a presentation by Mahri Swanson, Senior Community Respiratory Nurse (Jul'23)

COPD - a presentation by Dr Lorna Murray, Respiratory Consultant (Jun'22)

Healthy Home - Humidity and Air Quality - A Self Help Guide - a talk by Donnie Mackay, Energy Advice Manager (Apr'22)

Managing Cough - a talk by Jude Colligan, Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist (Apr'22)

Near Me - a presentation (with audio) about the Near Me video consultation service, by Kevin Patterson, NHSH TEC Team (Aug'23)

Remote Health Monitoring (Connect Me) - a presentation (with audio) by Joanna Gilliatt, NHS Highland TEC Team (Aug'23)

Self Management - a talk by Joanne McCoy, LGOWIT (February'22)

Singing - Can Singing Really Help my Breathlessness, a talk by Anne Richie, Coordinator of the Cheyne Gang (Jun'22)

Smoking - what difference does it make to lung health - a talk by Lesley-Anne Bremner, Public Health Team, NHS Highland (Sep'23)

Telecare - a presentation (with audio) about NHS Highland's Telecare service, by Shona Aldridge, NHS Highland TEC Team (Aug'23)

Winter vaccines - a presentation by Carolyn Macleod, Community Respiratory Nurse (Oct'23)



Your Breathing Matters - programme of future events

As a new year starts, we are ready  to plan another series of "your breathing matters" sessions. The first meeting  on Tues 27th Feb, 1-2pm, hosted by Michelle Duffy, Respiratory Nurse is your opportunity to help decide the programme for the coming year. We'd really welcome you there to  share your thoughts and ideas. We need your input!




Speakers - to be confirmed

Feb 27th 2024


Discussion about this years programme


March 26th 2024



Inhalers are an important part of keeping your lungs healthy and some people take them every day. Are you sure you’re getting the best out of yours?
Come along and learn how with the NHS Highland Specialist respiratory nurse team.

April 30th 2024



Any physical activity is good for our lung health. It can be a challenge though with breathlessness. Come along and hear how you can do it safely and easily. with Judith Colligan, Respiratory Physiotherapist from the NHS Highland Pulmonary Rehabilitation team.

May 28th 2024


Long Covid 

an opportunity to hear from the experts.  Dr Carolyn Forsyth, Clinical Director and Andrea Douglas, Rehabilitation Physiotherapist, Long Covid Service will share their experience and take your questions.  
You can e-mail points for discussion prior to the session or on the day, although please note it will not be possible to address individual medical issues in this session. 

If you would like to attend the a session please use the link https://forms.office.com/e/RkH9kDWtHq?origin=lprLink

You are welcome to sign up for just one session, or all of them, depending on your needs and interests.  If you would like to suggest other topics, please let us know at:  nhsh.communityrespiratoryteam@nhs.scot

Possible topics for future sessions might include:

  • Support groups and peer support groups available in the Highlands and how they can help
  • Identifying and managing anxiety and looking after your mental wellbeing
  • Respiratory conditions – diagnosis, treatment, progression
  • Advice about discussing what matters to me and advanced care planning
  • What to do when you have a flare up – medication and other interventions
  • What you should expect from your GP and practice nurse
  • How the specialist respiratory nurses work & what they have to offer
  • When to call an ambulance & how the paramedics decide what to do next
  • Advice about healthy eating including food choices, frequency, portion size
  • Coping with loss and bereavement
  • Caring for somebody with a respiratory condition and taking care of yourself

Technology: The Your Breathing Matters sessions will use the Near Me group video conferencing technology – which is very simple to use.  All you need is: 

  • PC, laptop​, smartphone ​or tablet 
  • Reliable internet connection 
  • Chrome, Safari or Edge internet browser 

For more information about using Near Me, please visit the national Near Me website, where you will find an FAQ and technical information.  There is local Near Me information at: NHS Highland - Near Me and you can make a test call  at: Near Me Test Call

Videos of some of the Your Breathing Matters talks - 2022 to 2023

Return to home page


Corinne Clark, Specialist Respiratory Nurse - living well with asthma


Anne Ritchie, coordinator for the Cheyne Gang - Can Singing Really Help My Breathlessness


Towards a Healthy Home - Managing Dampness, Humidity and Air Quality - a presentation from Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association (Session 2 - Apr'22) 


Jude Colligan, Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist - managing your cough and ways to cough effectively to keep your chest clear 


Michelle Duffy, one of NHS Highland's Specialist Respiratory Nurses - Breathing, Thinking and Functioning - managing breathlessness.


Joanne McCoy of LGOWIT - self-management tips and skills.


Near Me - a presentation (with audio) by Kevin Patterson - Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Team


NHS Highland Telecare Service - a presentation (with audio) by Shona Aldridge - Technology Enabled Care (TEC) team


Remote Health Monitoring in Highland - a presentation (with audio) by Joanna Gilliatt, TEC Team


Smoking - what difference does it make to lung health - a presentation (with audio) by Lesley-Anne Bremner, Public Health team, NHS Highland


Hints and tips shared by patients

Create reminders     Good communication Planning ahead    Tools to self-manage         Top Tip   

Transforming Respiratory Services end-of project event - October 2022

Transforming Respiratory Service project

You will find a range of project papers by clicking on the links below.  Each of the links opens in a new window/tab:

Early stages of the project - Discover and Define Padlet

Project report, papers and achievements - Develop and Deliver Padlet 

Videos of the end of project event

With thanks to Rowena Cooper for editing these videos of the event

Respiratory Pathfinder Event - Part One - Introductions

Respiratory Pathfinder Event - Part Two - Animation

Respiratory Pathfinder Event - Part Three - Experiences

Respiratory Pathfinder Event - Part Four - First Panel Discussion

Respiratory Pathfinder Event - Part Five - Facts & Stats Presentation

Respiratory Pathfinder Event - Part Six - Second Panel Discussion - What Next

Respiratory Pathfinder Event - Part Seven - Closing Comments

Host, speakers and panel members at the end of project event

The official title of our project is the Highland TEC Transforming Local Systems Pathfinder project.  The project (along with 3 other pathfinder projects) was funded by the Scottish Government’s TEC Programme.


Pennie Taylor is an award-winning freelance journalist and broadcaster who specialises in health and care issues. Based in Glasgow, she was BBC Scotland’s first Health Correspondent and has also worked on the newsdesks of national newspapers. A former Head of Communications for the Lothian University Hospitals NHS Trust in Edinburgh, Pennie has inside knowledge of how public services work. This gives her a uniquely informed perspective from which to approach and stimulate debate.


Speakers and panel members – in alphabetical order

Your speakers and panel members during the event are:

Rowena Cooper – Rowena is a medical doctor who has been embedded within the Respiratory Service and working full time on our project for the last 3 years.  She has made a huge contribution to the project, providing a link between clinical and research colleagues and by bringing dedication, hard work and creativity throughout.

Michelle Duffy –   Michelle is an Advanced Practice Respiratory Nurse working in our Community team, and has played a key part in the project right from the start and throughout, contributing ideas, experience, knowledge, enthusiasm and huge amounts of time.

David Gillman – David is a GP in the Highlands and District Medical Lead for East Ross.  David has contributed to the project at various different stages, bringing an important GP perspective to our discussions, though his daily commitments have made it difficult to maintain active involvement throughout.  

Emma Knox – Emma is Head of Business Development for Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS).  In her previous roles with CHSS Emma made an enormous contribution to the project, bringing the 3rd sector (and patient) perspective, as well as her huge wealth of knowledge and experience.

Reg Lewis & Angela Lewis – Angela is a retired nurse and also the wife and carer of Reg, who is a respiratory patient and long-time organiser of the Wick Wheezers peer support group.  Together Reg and Angela have played a key role in the project, consistently attending our meetings and providing insights and advice from patient and carer perspectives over many months.

Tracy Ligema – Tracy is NHS Highland’s Programme Director for Unscheduled Care and is currently taking a lead role in Interface Care work within the health board.  Tracy has been involved with our project right from the very beginning, when the first Scoping Meeting was held with the national team back in early May 2019, and has maintained an interest in, and oversight of, the project ever since.

Donnie Mackay – Donnie is Energy Advice Services Manager at Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association.  Donnie has brought a housing perspective to the project, and has contributed enthusiastically at various different stages as the project has progressed.

Sarah-Anne Munoz – Sarah is Professor of Rural Health at the University of the Highlands and Islands, and has been a key member of the project team right from the start, responsible for research and evaluation activities, much of our patient engagement work and often for presenting our progress, findings and plans to the national team and others.

Lorna Murray – Lorna is one of NHS Highland’s Consultant Respiratory Physicians, and has played a fundamental role in representing the views of the respiratory service throughout the project, contributing ideas, experience and knowledge and always remaining positive, committed and enthusiastic.

David Park – now NHS Highland’s Deputy Chief Executive, David was the Chief Officer of the Health and Social Care partnership when the project began back in 2019.  At that time David took the role of executive sponsor for the project and he has maintained a firm interest in our progress ever since. 

Iain Ross – Iain is head of eHealth (IT) in Highland and, despite the many other pressures on his time, has taken a real interest in the project throughout, exploring ideas for improvements to technology and data sharing with us, assisting us with contacts, and contributing the eHealth perspective whenever possible.

Margot White – Margot has been the national lead for the Transforming Local Systems programme throughout our project, acting as a combination of facilitator, mentor and advisor, always challenging our thinking and progress, and encouraging us to achieve more and better.

Margaret Whoriskey – Margaret is the national Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Programme Director, Head of Technology Enabled Care and Healthcare Innovation within the Digital Health and Care Directorate of the Scottish Government.  As such Margaret has overall responsibility for the programme which has funded our project

Johnny Will – Johnny now has a post as NHS National Improvement Adviser with Scottish Government, but until recently was the Clinical Effectiveness Lead working on respiratory pathways for the Scottish Ambulance Service.  Johnny has been a dedicated and enthusiastic member of our team, bringing the ambulance service perspective to our work as well as knowledge of respiratory services elsewhere in Scotland.

Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 14/05/2024

Next review date: 25/08/2024

Author(s): Joanna Gilliatt.

Author email(s): joanna.gilliatt@nhs.scot.

Reviewer name(s): Kevin Patterson.