What is cardiac rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive exercise, education and behavioural modification programme. It aims to improve not only the physical, but also the social and psychological condition of patients allowing them to resume as normal a place in the community following their cardiac event.
Care for your Heart
The Care for your Heart programme at Harefield Hospital was established in 1991. The service has grown over the years and consists of health promotion nurses, physiotherapists and administrative support.
Care for your Heart is supported by other healthcare professionals who lead educational sessions for our patients in their early recovery period.
At the appropriate stage in their recovery patients can take part in structured exercise sessions. We run three levels of classes (including a heart failure exercise group) and patients attend 12 sessions. They undergo a full assessment both before and after the course and can be referred on to appropriate options in the community for ongoing care following discharge.
Cardiac surgery and cardiology inpatients
All cardiac surgery and cardiology inpatients are referred daily by the ward staff and are seen by the health promotion nurses prior to discharge where their risk factors for heart disease are discussed in detail and they are prepared for their recovery period.
Patients are encouraged to attend a cardiac rehabilitation programme that may either be at Harefield or the patient’s local hospital. Other inpatients can be referred to the team if appropriate and we also accept external referrals from other hospitals, GPs, heart failure nurses or other appropriate healthcare professionals.
Patients can contact us directly though they will need to provide a letter from their GP/consultant stating their cardiac history and present cardiac status.
Our referral forms are available for download at the right. If you need any further information, please contact us.
Pre-operative seminar day
Alongside cardiac rehabilitation, the team is also involved in other aspects of patient care.
A weekly pre-operative seminar day is facilitated by the team where patients awaiting heart surgery come along to learn about their upcoming surgery.
All patients who are rushed to Harefield after a heart attack and go straight to our angiography department (primary angioplasty) are called one week and four weeks after discharge by the cardiac rehabilitation team to monitor progress, answer any queries and to advise the patients as appropriate.
Two of our health promotion nurses are trained in smoking cessation and run a weekly stop smoking clinic to which patients can be referred
Cardiac rehabilitation team
Heather Probert, consultant physiotherapist, cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation therapy lead
Lynda Evans (outpatient services / cardiac rehabilitation services)
Cardiac rehabilitation sister
Senior cardiac rehabilitation physiotherapist
Health promotion nurses
Deborah Beach, Claire Chalwin, Tessa Jolliffe, Rosemary Jones
- Smoking cessation service: Claire Chalwin and Deborah Beach
- Diabetes service: Valerie Lapworth (diabetic nurse specialist)
- Familial hypercholesterolaemia: Jane Breen (FH cascade nurse specialist)
Heart failure rehabilitation
Harefield offers a specific heart failure cardiac rehabilitation programme that includes group exercise and education sessions.
Patients can be referred by any member of hospital staff, though all referrals must be counter-signed by a doctor (registrar grade or above).
Before commencing the course each patient completes an MVO2 exercise test to ensure safety and to enable us to prescribe appropriate exercise programmes for each patient. This MVO2 test is repeated after the 12-week programme to assess progress over the course and a discharge summary is sent to the referrer and the patient’s GP.
The specific education programme runs directly after the class so that patients do not need to make extra visits to the hospital.
Sessions include heart failure, breathlessness, exercise, energy conservation, diet and medication.
Our heart failure patients are also welcome to attend our routine education sessions on relaxation, stress management and coping and adjusting to a heart condition.
To refer a patient to heart failure rehabilitation, download this referral form (pdf, 60.6KB).
If you would like any further information, please contact us.
Harefield Hospital has been running the stop smoking clinic since July 2010.
The clinic is held every Thursday between 9 am and 3.30pm in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Department at Harefield Hospital.
The programme consists of a combination of hospital-based clinic appointments and telephone follow-ups, depending on individual preference for patients and staff. Patients attending the clinic are given one-to-one counselling and appropriate nicotine replacement or pharmaceutical support.
The programme is six weeks, follows guidance from the Hillingdon PCT Stop Smoking Service and is staffed by a team of highly-trained advisors.
Patients undergo a full assessment including:
- full history taking
- lung function tests
- CO monitoring at every hospital visit
- height weight bmi blood pressure oxygen saturations
- weekly counselling.
All patients must be motivated and committed to stop smoking.
The smoking cessation team provides stands for conferences at Harefield Hospital, including GP study days for both the heart and lung division. An information stand for staff, patients and the general public is set up in March of every year for national 'No Smoking Day'.
Referrals and further information
Referral forms are available in outpatient clinics and on the wards. Alternatively, you can fill in the online cardiac rehab referral form here.
For more information about our stop smoking clinic, please contact Debbie Beach in cardiac rehabilitation by:
- emailing D.Beach@rbht.nhs.uk
- calling Debbie - bleep 6131.
Cardiac rehabilitation patients may find the following website links of interest:
- DVLA guidance on driving for cardiac patients
- British Heart Foundation
- Department of Health
- British Lung Foundation
- Smokefree - NHS website for quitting smoking
D floor, Harefield Hospital
Internal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
External email: email@example.com
Referrals: Cardiac rehab online referral form
Telephone: +44 (0)1895 828944
Availability: Monday to Friday 8am-4pm
An answer phone is available at all other times.
Referral form - heart failure rehabilitation (pdf, 60.6KB)
Smoking cessation clinic information (pdf, 168KB)