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

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.

GIF COPD Cat Mouse

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.


COPD Aardman Animation GIF

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.

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.


COPD Aardman Animation GIF

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.

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.

COPD Aardman Animation GIF

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.

Dr Binita Kane, Consultant Respiratory Physician at Manchester University NHS  Foundation Trust (MFT)  and the 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 offer patients the chance to provide feedback about their experiences so we can improve care for patients in the future.”

Andrew Miles, UK General Manager for GSK, 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.”

Jon Twinn, Managing Director at iWantGreatCare, said: “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.”

Heather Wright, Executive Director – Partner Content at Aardman, added: “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.” 

COPD Aardman Animation Still

Watch the video on Youtube

Health Innovation Manchester brings together health, academia and industry as part of an academic health science system with the aim of accelerating innovation to improve people’s health and wellbeing.

Our aim is to make Greater Manchester the most innovative health and social care system in the UK, a place internationally renowned for its ability to apply the skills of industry innovators, academic and clinical colleagues, to meet the needs of patients and citizens.

Aardman, based in Bristol (UK) and co-founded in 1976 by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is an independent and multi-award-winning studio. It produces feature films, series, advertising, interactive entertainment and attractions for both the domestic and international market. Their productions are novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm reflecting the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the Aardman team.

The studio’s work is often imitated and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning content for cinema, broadcasters, digital platforms and live experiences around the world. In November 2018, Aardman became an Employee Owned organisation, ensuring that the studio remains independent and securing the creative legacy and culture of the company for the future.

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information please visit

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