New cardiac rehabilitation programme offered in the heart of the community

Cardiac rehab image web
New cardiac rehabilitation programme offered in the heart of the community
21 August 2015

PATIENTS in North Manchester can now access a cardiac rehabilitation programme right in the heart of their community.

The new service which has been commissioned by North Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and is provided by The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, is for patients who have had a cardiac event ranging from a myocardial infarction (heart attack), unstable angina, angioplasty and stenting, coronary artery bypass surgery and valvular surgery.

Based in the East Manchester Leisure Centre in Beswick, the community based programme of cardiac rehabilitation complements the existing North Manchester General Hospital service which has been running since 1994.

Pennine Acute Trust cardiology nurse specialist Jane Whittaker, said: “The north east sector of Greater Manchester has some of the worst rates for coronary heart disease and deprivation in the UK. This service was therefore set up to increase the uptake of cardiac rehab in the area and to give patients a choice of venue nearer to their home. Increasing the uptake of rehab will improve the quality of life for more people in the area and delivering a more local service for patients enables them to attend and maintain attendance by reducing travel costs and time away from home, commitments or work.”

Cardiac rehabilitation helps improve the health and well being of people who have heart problems. Rehab programmes include exercise training, education on keeping the heart healthy, appropriate use of medications and lifestyle management to help reduce the risk of further cardiac events.

Jane added: “There is much evidence to support the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation particularly in the reduction of mortality and morbidity. This hopefully means a reduction in hospital readmission rates and attendances at the GP surgeries.”

Patients are initially assessed after their cardiac event by a cardiac nurse specialist. As part of a multi-disciplinary team, patients can expect to receive help and support from cardiac physiotherapists, exercise professionals, dieticians, pharmacists, psychologists, occupational therapists and local cardiac support groups.

The weekly class at the leisure centre can accommodate a maximum of ten people. Led by cardiac nurse specialists Jane Whittaker and Gail Brough, and Stephen Bourne, exercise referral officer from the Physical Activity Referral Service (PARS), the patients are put through their paces for eight weeks, when they are medically ready to do so.

On completion of the rehab programme, people are referred on to the PARS service for continuing advice and support for long term exercise and activities to help maintain good health and well being.

Funded by Manchester City Council, PARS aims to improve the health and well being of local people through increased physical activity. Specifically targeting people with existing long term health problems (such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity), or at risk of developing them, people are referred to their service via their GP or practice nurse.

Patient Roger Buttress from the Droylsden area has attended the course. He underwent angioplasty and stenting after being diagnosed with angina. He said: “I would recommend any patient who is given the chance to attend the cardiac rehabilitation scheme to give it a go. You may feel a bit anxious to start with but it will improve your fitness and start to rebuild your confidence like it has done for me. Highly recommended.”

Pictured left to right: Jane Whittaker, cardiac rehabilitation nurse; patients Mary Black and Roger Buttress; Stephen Bourne, PARS officer; patient Carol Curran and Gail Brough, cardiac rehabilitation nurse.