What to expect
when you come
Once a referral has been received and accepted by the service, you will be contacted by telephone to discuss the programme and offered an appointment for a detailed clinical assessment. If we are unable to contact you by telephone then we will send you a letter requesting that you contact the service at your earliest convenience. Please let the service know if you have any specific communication, access or information needs. If you do not wish to be contacted by the team, please inform the service by telephone.
What to expect on your initial clinical assessment (60 minute appointment):
• We will discuss with you your heart or vascular condition or diagnosis and the medications you have been prescribed
• We will discuss with you your cardiovascular risk factors and give advice, information and support on how to manage your health and wellbeing
• We will give you the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any problems or worries you may have, identify your priorities and help to set personalised goals to achieve them
• We will measure your blood pressure, heart rate (pulse), resting electrocardiogram (ECG), height, weight, waist and body mass index (BMI)
• We will, together, agree your personalised rehabilitation plan which may include: educational sessions; exercise sessions; medication optimisation; relaxation sessions; return to work support; referral to smoking cessation support; referral to diabetes specific education support; peer support.
Educational modules: With 7 sessions run throughout the week, the educational modules can be attended as soon you wish to and when most convenient for you. Whilst we encourage attendance of all modules, you may however feel that some modules are more relevant than others. You can attend the educational modules as many times as you like and are welcome to bring a family member or friend with you. There is no need to book onto the educational modules, just turn up! The most up to date educational module timetable can be obtained from the either department or can be sent to you in the post.
Modules include: Atrial fibrillation (AF) and stroke; Basic Life Support (BLS) and automated external defibrillator (AED) use; Cardiac conditions; Cardiovascular disease and the heart; Exercise for a healthy heart; Getting back on track; Healthy eating; Healthy mind, healthy heart; Heart failure explained (for those diagnosed with heart failure); Managing your medicines; Risk Factors; Stress and your heart health; Weight management
Life with an ICD programme: A two week (one session per week) education course designed specifically for those people who have had an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) fitted.
Structured and tailored exercise programme: Following an exercise assessment, an individualised exercise programme will be developed for you, taking any mobility limitations into consideration, to work towards your exercise and activity goals. Sessions are available throughout the week with morning, afternoon and evening options.
Exercise programmes include:
- Gym-based exercise sessions
- Circuit-based exercise sessions (group classes)
- Strength and Balance exercise sessions (lower-intermediate group classes)
REACH-HF programme (12 month pilot): For those with a diagnosis of heart failure, we are currently facilitating a 12 month national pilot (REACH-HF) (until Autumn 2020) for a home-based cardiovascular rehabilitation programme.
Medication Optimisation clinics: You may be referred to, or can request being referred to, a medication optimisation clinic where any concerns around your medications can be discussed and medications altered to help optimise risk factors such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol. These clinics are run by Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Nurses who are also non-medical prescribers.
Relaxation sessions: A part of the Healthy mind, healthy heart and the Stress and your heart health educational modules, a relaxation session will be included. Further information and advice can be provided as necessary.
Self-directed rehabilitation in your own home: If attending formal group sessions is not suited to you, we can provide telephone support for you to enable you to make positive lifestyle changes
Online support: Online support and information is available via our Facebook page – Wirral Cardiovascular Rehabilitation (@wirralcardiacrehab).