Evidence is gathering that cardiac rehabilitation is a significant factor in the stabilisation of heart failure and unfortunately there are many of us who aren’t good at it. That includes patients, the NHS, local government and other health providers. There is no magic wand to this so we decided to help with producing a booklet that helps facilitate physical movement leading onto exercise. The booklet alone won’t do the work but it will highlight the wide variety of programmes and courses available to Heart Failure patients in the East Lancashire area where people get accustomed to the fact that exercise doesn’t have to mean the GYM; it is social interaction, it’s about having a laugh and a joke and who could think of anything better than that as well as being good for you!
We really wish we had the resources to pull this together for all Heart Failure patients but we don’t, however we are unsure what the future holds so we will have to wait and see.
Heart Failure Rehab rears its ugly head again
We presume this article rings bells with people?
More heart patients should benefit from cardiac rehabilitation, health campaigners have said. They made the plea after new figures showed just 3% of eligible patients with heart failure were offered this, compared to about two-thirds of those who have had either a heart attack or cardiac bypass surgery.
Across Scotland, a total of 65.2% of heart attack patients were referred for cardiac rehabilitation, as were 68.5% of people who had bypass surgery. But just 3.1% of those with heart failure were referred for rehabilitation, along with only 7.4% of those with unstable angina. Pumping Marvellous find this digraceful and this indicates the attitude towards Heart Failure and how to deal with the ever growing problem by the NHS.
While 7,845 heart attack patients were referred for rehabilitation between April 2010 and March 2011, only 144 people with heart failure and 340 with unstable angina were put forward.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland and Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland are now calling for more of these patents to benefit from the treatment. The two charities argued that rehabilitation only costed about £600 per patient, and could help save lives, with heart patients 30% less likely to die over a 10-year period if they have taken part in a cardiac rehab programme.
Ben McKendrick, senior policy and public affairs manager at BHF Scotland, said: “Cardiac rehab saves lives but there is an unacceptable gulf between the levels of support offered to patients with different heart conditions.
“When someone suffers a heart problem – be it angina, a heart attack or heart failure – they not only suffer a damaged heart but often a damaged spirit as well. Heart patients tell us that cardiac rehab helps mend that spirit and puts them on the road to living a full life again.”
Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said “excellent” progress had been made in offering rehabilitation. She said: “In 2007 around 45% of people in the clinical priority groups had access to cardiac rehabilitation, this figure has now risen to 65%. While this substantial increase is a great achievement, we recognise that there is still much more to do to help improve the quality of care for people living with heart failure.
“Our National Advisory Committee on heart disease will continue to work closely with cardiac services and the voluntary sector to take this forward. Our focus is not just on providing the best possible care in the acute setting, but also on helping people’s longer-term recovery in their own communities.”
Rehabilitation for Heart Failure Patients
It is good to hear such a strong voice as NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) reinforce the need for rehabilitation of Chronic Heart Failure patients.
They say People with heart failure should be offered rehabilitation programmes when they leave hospital, including group exercise and psychological and educational support, says the UK’s health guidance body.
These improve quality of life and help people live with their conditions, reducing the need for costly hospital admissions.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) makes the recommendation in updated guidance on treating patients with chronic heart failure.
The guidance also says:
Rehabilitation programmes should be tailored to meet the specific needs of heart failure patients
New evidence shows exercise as part of cardiac rehabilitation does not put heart failure patients’ lives at greater risk
Patients should be checked to ensure they are stable and don’t have a condition or device that would prevent them doing exercise based rehabilitation programmes
Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “There are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK living with heart failure. The updated guidance, which is based on new evidence, recommends that many of these would benefit from cardiac rehabilitation.
“There is a challenge here for the health service as it needs to scale up the provision of cardiac rehab schemes.
“However, the prize is enabling more heart failure patients to take control of their condition and use precious NHS resources better by preventing costly readmissions to hospital.”
At the moment the investment in Heart failure rehabilitation services is just lip service and needs to be readdressed
Heart Failure and Wii Fit
I have taken the plunge and have used some of our long overdue Amex points to secure and become part of the Wii revolution. If anybody who knows me really well they will know I hate Gyms, in the past they have been a complete waste of money as all I do is get bored and I mean get really bored. So we have invested in a Wii Fit Plus
Now excuse me, but I don’t want to be seen like the “Redknapps” in their TV commercials – you will only know this if you are from the UK as they are a famous footballing family. However it does lots of things that are really beneficial to my condition.
At the moment my exercise regime / war of attrition consists of 3X10 mins sessions with 5 min warm up before starting per day. One session is based on cardio, the other stamina and the last strength. These sessions are broadly based on the cardio rehab programme I have just completed. These are in the morning, when I get home from work and before I go to bed. The challenge will be on how to incorporate the Wii. What is good about the Wii Fit is that before you start it asks you for your measurements and it also weighs you. This is very helpful as if you have heart failure weighing yourself everyday is very important, so why not have some fun whilst doing it.
All in all I am looking forward to utilising the Wii Fit Plus and as Jemma said who is a physiotherapist in the East Lancs PCT – “The Wii has and will continue to revolutionise exercise, you bring the gym to your front room”