British Heart Foundation

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


Community Heart Service/ GP extended hours, Countess of Chester Hospital , Liverpool Road,
Chester Cheshire CH2 1HJ

About the Programme

The Countess of Chester Hospital and Community Care Western Cheshire PCT offers a range of clinical and community services to over 250,000 patients in Chester, Ellemsere Port and Neston and rural West Cheshire.

Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) at the Countess of Chester Hospital (COCH) and Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust (WCPCT) delivers Phases 1-3 (and supports 4 via clinical drop in) on site at COCH as an inpatient service and then delivers Phase 2 on site at COCH and a local community hospital. Phase 3 (individual exercise prescription, group based exercise and education sessions) is routinely delivered on site at the hospital in addition to two local community site (University of Chester Fitness Suite) and Ellemsere Port Fire Station Community Gym) for greater equity of access and increased patient choice.

Clinical Inclusion:
* Heart Attack
* Stents/ coronary revascularisation
* Balloon angioplasty
* Heart Failure (Ejection Fraction <40%)
* Complex Devices (CRT-P, CRT-D)
* Cardiac Surgery
* Valve Surgery
* Post Heart Transplantation

Types of Sessions Available:
>Female only sessions offered at all our community sites;
>Low impact (strength and balance) exercise groups for those with physical limitations and reduced mobility, include chair based exercise classes.
> Group based circuits;
> Higher impact groups (physically fit men/women, possibly due to return to work/specific exercise goals);
> Return to work Physical Activity Assessment/Advice

> Education only sessions (partners and carers are invited to attend all the above Phases 1-3).

Based at the Countess of Chester Hospital and community sites across western Cheshire, we provide a multidisciplinary service for the care of patients who have been diagnosed with a heart attack and or undergone cardiac surgery or have a new diagnosis of heart failure.

Cardiac rehabilitation includes an initial clinical assessment following a recent admission and covers basic measures including review of symptoms, medications, ECG, blood pressure, recovery and long term plan of care, return to work and notably risk factor modification and lifestyle factors. Onward referral to specialist services can also be made (smoking cessation, anxiety management, erectile dysfunction, community mental health team). Cardiac rehabilitation is now a part of NICE guidance for post MI care and is supported by robust evidence base in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease.

Cardiac Rehabilitation does offer an additional 12 week exercise and educational programme that is centred on individual needs (low impact exercise, education only, patient returning to work, high impact exercise if required does offer female only classes). Cardiac nurses, rehab specialist, physiotherapists and exercise physiologists who specialise in exercise based rehab form part of a multidisciplinary team to delivery a wide variety of components of the service.

Educational components include: Cardiac Medications,Stress Management, Physical Activity, Weight Management, Cardiac Quiz, Risk Factors,Food Labelling, Myths and, Misconceptions, Cardiology, and Basic life support (CPR). An individual plan of care is made with a clinical member of staff to choose a programme that is most suited to the individual.

Follow up in cardiac rehabilitation starts as an inpatient if you have had a heart attack and were treated as an at the Countess of Chester Hospital. For any patients who are treated off site (such as Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, or out of area) the programme starts when you are discharged home.

All patients should be advised to contact their local service as soon as they are discharged home. Alternatively, contact will be made by the Cardiac Rehab Team as soon as possible thereafter.


Sophie McIntosh/Cardiac Rehabilitation Team
Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist
Direct Dial : 01244365192
E mail :


T: 01244 365662

Contact 2

T: 01244 365662

Email For Referrals

What to expect
when you come

We provide a comprehensive inpatient and outpatient cardiac rehabilitation service.

Phase 1: Initial ward based (or early phone call following immediate discharge from Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital/ other tertiary Centre) assessment informs both the patient and clinicians of the most appropriate programme of care, which includes symptom management and education for patients following their heart attack/ and or heart surgery. This is aimed as an early point of contact for follow up early after discharge from hospital. A variety of patient based literature is available.

Phase 2:
A full clinical assessment (Blood pressure, ECG, Height/Weight, BMI, waist cm) via an outpatient appointment and covers symptom management, understanding the diagnosis, recovery, education, goal setting and planning a suitable follow up programme of longer-term care. Patients are then given the option to carry on to the 12-week exercise and education programme.

These assessments are on site in the Longhouse at Countess of Chester Hospital or at Ellesmere Port Hospital.

Phase 3 Up to 12- weeks cardiac rehabilitation programme of exercise, education, and risk factor management. Sessions are delivered at both hospital and local community sites (University of Chester Fitness Suite and Ellesmere Port Fire Station) across Cheshire and Wirral Partnership Trust. The exercise sessions are clinically supervised and an exercise programme is individually prescribed based on clinical need.
The exercise can be specifically tailored to get you back to work or to achieve certain goals such as returning to work as a builder, or being able to load your washing machine or just be able to move from your wheelchair to your sofa, to returning to your badminton lessons or a 10k run.

The exercise can be very low impact up to high intensity and vigorous exercise if required.

Exercise sessions can include:
Chair based exercise/mobility
Group based circuits (low impact)
Women only sessions
Higher impact exercise
* Aqua mobility
* Fitness Suite/Gym Based exercise (individual)

Clinical /exercise specialists can guide patients when to return to work, and if appropriate instruct on physical exercise and return to usual sports participation.

Further referrals can be made if required to smoking cessation, community mental health, community matrons, and sexual health/erectile dysfunction clinic.

We receive referrals:

As an inpatient at Countess of Chester Hospital following diagnosis of a heart attack

From tertiary surgical centres, with patients who have had cardiac intervention / surgery (such as Broadgreen Hospital, The Royal, Wythenshawe Hospital) (coronary artery bypass grafts including valve surgery, primary angioplasty, angioplasty or stents, heart devices such as biventricular pacemakers and ICDs);

Local/regional and national rehabilitation centres with confirmed diagnosis of heart attack/cardiac surgery or cardiac revascularisation (coronary artery bypass, primary angioplasty, angioplasty or stents); devices such as ICDs and Biventricular pacemakers

From GPs who have confirmed a recent diagnosis of heart attack/cardiac surgery or cardiac revascularisation (same as above;
From consultant cardiologists and heart failure specialist nurses who refer patients with new onset heart failure (left ventricular systolic dysfunction or a confirmed ejection fraction <40%);
Self referral
From individuals, but will require recent confirmation from a medical practitioner of any of the above diagnoses.

Where and When Sessions are delivered.
Phase 1 Inpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation at Countess of Chester Hospital. Ward visits are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9.00am - 12.00pm.

Phase 2 Clinical Assessments at Countess of Chester Hospital and Ellesmere Port Hospital (by clinical appointments).

Phase 3 Exercise and Educational Sessions at the University of Chester Fitness Suite on Thursday (women specific), Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (Heart Failure), 9.00am -12.30pm.
Phase 3 Exercise and Educational Sessions

There is an Outreach Gym at Ellesmere Port Fire Station on Mondays 2:00-5:00pm.

Many more classes run in the community for patients who finish cardiac rehabilitation and want to carry on their efforts well supported in the community and by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership Trust via Health Promotion initiatives.

As part of your Cardiac Rehab Journey you can access:
 > Specialist nurses
 > Medication Reviews with a Nurse Prescriber
 > Symptom Management
 > Lifestyle Advice
 > Intensive Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Management Clinics
 > Goal Setting
 > Dietitian
 > Wellbeing and Anxiety management Clinics
 > Diabetes Specialist Nurses
 > Exercise Specialists
 > Therapy Specialists
 > Heart Failure Nurses

How long does it take

As soon as you are discharged from hospital and can attend the hospital for a clinic appointment.

It can last up to 12 weeks but this is tailored to how long you require to meet your goals.

General information

Sophie McIntosh Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist (Manager).
Joanne Dobson Cardiac Rehabilitation Heart Failure Nurse
Tony Chapman Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Nurse
Alison McCann Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse
Cathryn Grace Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse
Sarah Quinlan Cardiac Rehabilitation Therapy Specialist (Occupational Therapist)
Joanne Gilchrest Exercise Physiologist
Louise Rimell Exercise Physiologist
Nicola Haycock Exercise Physiologist
Clare Huber Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse
Alison Bethel Heart Failure Specialist Nurse (sessional input)
Diane Taylor Community Heart Failure Specialist Nurse (sessional input)
Diana Astbury Community Heart Failure Nurse (sessional input)
Yvonne Graham ward Clerk

Professor John Somauroo Lead Consultant Cardiologist for Cardiac Rehabilitation.
Dr Roger Trent Consultant Cardiologist and Physician
Dr Ewan McKay Consultant Cardiologist and Physician
Dr Jason Causer Consultant Cardiologist and Physician
Dr Martin Sedgewick Consultant Cardiologist and Physician
Dr Babu Kunadian Consultant Cardiologist / Cardiac Interventionalist

Departmental Manager
Sophie McIntosh Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist
E Mail:
Cardiac Rehabilitation Department
The Long House
Countess of Chester Hospital
Liverpool Road
Tel: 01244365662
Fax 01244365199

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