Over 20 years experience in community based rehabilitation
Cardiac Rehabilitation has been running in the city of Coventry for more than 20 years. It has been successfully developed from a small hospital-based rehabilitation program, into a large and well equipped community service by Atrium Health Ltd. The company’s Centre for Exercise and Health is available to cardiac and pulmonary patients through the day and evening, five days per week.
What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehabilitation, also known as ‘cardiac rehab’, is a medically supervised programme for people who have had a heart attack, heart failure, heart valve surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting, or percutaneous coronary intervention.
Cardiac rehab involves adopting heart-healthy lifestyle changes to address risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This programme includes exercise training, education on heart-healthy living, and counselling to reduce stress and help you return to an active life.
Our programme can help improve:
- Your health and quality of life
- Reduce the need for medicines to treat heart or chest pain
- Decrease the chance you will go back to a hospital or emergency room for a heart problem
- Prevent future heart problems, and even help you live longer.
Cardiac Rehabilitation has been running in the city of Coventry for more than 20 years. It has been successfully developed from a small hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation programme, into a large and well equipped community service delivered by Atrium Health Ltd.
Our Centre for Exercise and Health is available to cardiac patients through the day and evening, five days per week.
Who is Cardiac Rehabilitation for?
The programme is for anyone that has had:
- A heart attack
- Coronary artery bypass grafts
- Heart valve repair or replacement
- Heart failure
Download our booklet for more information
This treatment phase commences during your hospital stay and usually takes place in the Coronary Care Unit or Ward 10 and the University Hospital.
A nurse will assess your needs and initiate your recovery plan – identifying the educational, physical and emotional support needed to help you function safely and independently after your discharge from hospital. You will be fully involved throughout this process.
Outpatient exercise & education programme
Approximately 2-6 weeks after discharge, you will be invited to attend a consultation with a cardiac rehabilitation nurse and a clinical exercise physiologist. The timescale of this appointment will depend on the type of procedure you have experienced and your rate of recovery from it.
One-to-one discussions with the cardiac rehabilitation nurse and a fitness assessment with the clinical exercise physiologist will be conducted at the start of the programme.
The next phase of your rehabilitation is based on a 16 session exercise programme that will typically be undertaken twice a week, but which you will be expected to complete in a maximum of 10 weeks. The programme will be individually tailored to your specific needs, capabilities and any goals that you may want to achieve. All sessions will be supervised by trained exercise specialists who will review your programme at regular intervals and help you progress towards your goals.
In addition, you will be given the opportunity to raise any issues or concerns, such as:
- Any new or unusual symptoms you may be experiencing
- Medications and their effects
- Your options for attending the exercise programme and education sessions
- Coronary heart disease risk factors
- Guidance on physical activity, exercise and return to work (if applicable)
- Any other concerns that you have about your recovery
- The results of your exercise assessment
- A referral to see a dietician and/or psychologist (if applicable).
Throughout this phase, you will also receive further support from the multidisciplinary team, including a series of education sessions. These cover a range of topics ranging from: ‘understanding your heart condition’ and ‘healthy eating advice’ to ‘medication for the heart’ and ‘physical activity and exercise following your heart event’.
On completion of your programme, you will have a repeat exercise assessment to determine your level of progress. It will also give you opportunity to discuss any ongoing issues you may have.
Cardiac Rehabilitation – case study
Mr X, aged 67 was referred to cardiac rehabilitation in January 2017. He had been diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure and, for many years, had been taking medication for this without any problems.
However, by the end of 2016 Mr X had been feeling increasingly tired and short of breath. This was true even during activities that were previously easy for him, such as going down to his allotment or walking up stairs. After experiencing sharp chest pains while out on a shopping exertion he visited his doctor who referred him to UHCW for further tests.
Mr X was investigated in hospital and given a diagnosis of coronary heart disease in three of the major arteries of the heart. Shortly after this he underwent coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG).
Mr X first visited the Centre for Exercise and Health six weeks after his operation. After being examined by a cardiac nurse to check that his chest was healing correctly, Mr X completed a fitness assessment at the centre with one of the physiologists. This gave Mr X enormous confidence, and he explained to the nurses that since his operation he had started to avoid physical activity in case he made himself worse.
After the initial assessment, the exercise physiologist designed Mr X a personalised exercise programme. This was to be completed twice a week at the centre based around his current level of fitness. He gradually progressed each week, and Mr X regained both his fitness and his confidence.
Alongside this exercise programme, Mr X was invited to attend the education programme, which is held in the seminar rooms after the classes. It was here that Mr X gained valuable knowledge about his condition, medication, healthy diet, safe activity levels, and the psychological impact of heart disease.
Mr X joined the group warm-up, and got to know several patients in the group who had been through similar problems as him. The camaraderie of exercising alongside others with whom he could relate to, was enormously important. At the end of eight weeks’ exercise, Mr X was reassessed, and had improved his fitness significantly.
The most important thing for Mr X is the improvement in confidence the programme has given him. Now he can do all the activities he had enjoyed previously, including trips down to his allotment, or the ‘green gym’ as he calls it!
Mr X still attends the centre for ongoing exercise as a paying Atrium member. He still sees many of the people who came through the programme with him. Mr X feels that by keeping in contact with the team at Atrium he can ask for advice about his condition or medication without needing to make separate visits to the hospital or his doctors. This has given him a sense of security, helping him to continue to get the most out of life.