Over 10,000 listens for BIRD’s new Patient Information Podcasts offering help with rheumatic diseases

This month, Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases (BIRD) celebrates over 10,000 listens of its Podcast Library which provides information to patients, families and carers on advances in treatments, therapies and how to live well with the symptoms of different rheumatic diseases. This is approximately 500% more patients reached each year than through BIRD’s previous programme of live events.

Thirty-six podcasts have been produced since 2020 on individual rheumatic diseases such as Lupus, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoporosis as well as podcasts on Self-Management and wellbeing.  The podcasts received over 11,000 listens by 1st October and each one, features experts in the field of rheumatology from the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD). The aim of the podcasts is to provide patients with a better understanding of their condition, the medications or treatments available and to improve patient knowledge and confidence. Speakers range from Consultants, Specialist Nurses and Physiotherapists to patients sharing their own experiences. 

The Patient Information Podcast Library was started in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic caused BIRD’s live patient information events to be cancelled.  In a recent patient survey 74% of respondents said their knowledge of their condition had improved after listening to the podcasts, 75% said that hearing the voices of their clinicians and healthcare professionals was reassuring, almost 60% said that listening had made them feel less isolated and part of a community.

Future podcasts are planned on Fibromyalgia and Sjogren’s and a further podcast for the Psoriatic Arthritis series will be announced online at birdbath.org.uk podcasts as they are released.

Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases (BIRD) aims to support arthritis research, education and patient engagement. The charity puts patients at the centre of their work, recognising and encouraging the importance of patient voices in research and the development of treatment and other therapy options available to patients.  BIRD encourages and funds research projects between the University of Bath and the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD), Bath and educates healthcare professionals in aspects of rheumatic disease and engages with patients to deepen their understanding and encourage them to get involved in research.

To find out more about the work of the charity or BIRD’s Podcast Library visit birdbath.org.uk or to donate visit localgiving.org/charity/BIRD.

Featured image: Dr William Tillett (Consultant, RNHRD), Celia Mead (Executive Director, BIRD), Cara Charles-Barks (CEO RUH, Bath), Professor Raj Sengupta (Consultant, RNHRD) and Dr Andrew Allard (Consultant, RNHRD)