February 8-2019
Aardman creates animated video using voices of COPD Patients

Animated cats, squirrels and pigeons have been sharing their experiences of living with and treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) in Greater Manchester as part of a new engaging video from Aardman.

The Academy Award-winning studio, who created Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Creature Comforts, have 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 for the next patient.

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

It also encourages other patients to have their say on their care as part of a new pilot feedback project, Rate My Inhaler 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 at pace, has worked in collaboration with healthcare company GSK and iWantGreatCare (iWGC), the world’s largest independent patient feedback platform, for the project.

iWantGreatCare managing director Jon Twinn commented, “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.”

GSK UK general manager Andrew Miles said, “We hope patients feel inspired by this video to share their experience of living with COPD. Their stories could shape the way today’s patients, and those in the future, are cared for and treated.”

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

Consultant chest physician, Manchester University Foundation Trust (MFT) consultant respiratory physician and the clinical lead for Health Innovation Manchester COPD programme Dr Binita Kane 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 offer patients the chance to provide feedback about their experiences so we can improve care for patients in the future.”

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

“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.” added Aardman executive director – partner content Heather Wright.

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 £1 billion 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 £73 million each year.