The Cardiac Rehabilitation team at Royal Papworth Hospital provides a comprehensive follow-up service for patients following all types of cardiac procedures. Our team is made up of nurses, physiotherapists, exercise practitioners, cardiac rehab assistants and admin staff. The nurses are all cardiac trained and the exercise staff have a wealth of experience in adapting exercise for individual patient needs. This includes seated exercise for those patients who require it.

The team sees around 350 patients per year, and also refers approximately 150 patients a month who have come to Royal Papworth Hospital for their procedures, back to their local cardiac rehabilitation teams in East Anglia.

The programmes that we run are called the In-house, and the Road to Recovery home programme. Both courses last for 12 weeks. The overall aim is to improve patients’ understanding of their condition and to gain confidence in their ability to increase fitness and make lifestyle changes following their heart procedure.

This is achieved by following an individual exercise programme, advice on weight management, healthy eating, stress management, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, support for diabetics and stopping smoking. We also discuss the importance of the tablets that patients are taking. Patients are encouraged to set achievable goals for the time they are with us.

There is a lot of evidence to show that patients who complete a cardiac rehabilitation programme greatly reduce their chances of being readmitted to hospital in the future. Family members are welcome to attend the assessment appointments and to listen to the education talks. We recognise that following any heart procedure, it can be a worrying time for those close to the patient and we aim to support relatives as well.

Our in-house programme is for patients who are able to travel to Royal Papworth Hospital to attend weekly classes. The Road to Recovery is designed so that patients who live further from Royal Papworth Hospital or have work commitments, only have to attend the hospital once for an initial assessment.

Patients go home with a custom-made DVD for exercise, a relaxation audio disc and a selection of education leaflets, plus a personal diary in which to record their progress. Patients are supported by a weekly telephone call from the Cardiac Rehabilitation team.

At the end of the rehabilitation programme we complete a final assessment, either by phone or hospital appointment and ensure that the patient has an ongoing management plan. A copy of this is given to the patient's cardiologist and GP to ensure that those important lifestyle changes continue on into the future.

If you have any queries or would like further information please contact the Cardiac Rehabilitation team on 01223 638429.