Heart Care is a pioneer in cardiac rehabilitation. Since opening in 1981, we have developed a flexible and accessible programme, specially designed to cater for the broadest range of people. Every patient is given a tailor-made exercise programme arranged and supervised by our exercise physiology team.
Our rehabilitation programme is a 13-week course that includes diet and nutrition advice as well as relaxation and stress management groups for those who require them. Patients are required to attend for two sessions per week although this is flexible and the frequency and duration of attendance can be altered to suit the patient’sneeds. Patients are initially assessed for suitability for the course by specialist nurses, who are available to offer advice and support throughout.
Rehabilitation – Phase 3a
Phase 3a of our rehabilitation course lasts for between 2-4 weeks and begins with a fitness assessment. This is done by a walking test around our 50 metre indoor track, during which heart rate and rhythm is monitored by ECG telemetry. We do have some patients who cannot walk very well and some that are wheelchair bound, in which case, alternative exercise assessments are used so that we can cater for most individuals.
During Phase 3a patients exercise on a treadmill,cycle or Arm ergometer on alternate days, depending on their capabilities and any comormidities that may prevent them from using certain equipment. They will be continually monitored by an ECG and have their Blood Pressure checked at regular intervals. Exercise normally lasts for about 20 minutes during Phase 3a
Patients will be given a handheld record card to bring with them each session which can track their progress andmonitor lifestyle goals – Advice on improving risk factors such as diet and smoking will also be given at this stage
Rehabilitation – Phase 3b
After phase 3a, patients exercise independently of ECG monitors and continue to alternate between walking around the track and ergometer cycling. Some patients who are unable to use these can use the Arm ergometers or Recumbent X-Trainer as an alternative. Phase 3B Patients are monitored by our Exercise Physiologists and Health Care Assistants. When the patient is ready and if it is deemed appropriate, weight training is introduced to improve upper body strength and to identify patient limitations. The duration and intensity of the exercise will gradually increase in the next two months, with exercise programmes normally lasting between 45-60 minutes.
After-Care – Phase 4
After completing the rehabilitation course, following a reassessment, patients are welcome to come to the Unit to exercise, indefinitely. Our after-care programmes give members the opportunity to build upon / or maintain their new fitness levels, while having the re-assurance and support of on-site professional staff. All this is available at a nominal cost and some of our patients have been attending for over 20 years so obviously find this service very helpful!!
Referral to the programme
Patients can be referred to Heart Care by their GP or by their Hospital Consultant.
We will take people of any age. Heart Care clients range from 20 – 90!
Heart Care prefers to start patients on the rehabilitation course within 4 – 6 weeks of their heart attack or surgery.