It’s so ‘NICE to be good to your heart

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Health Matters by Simon Temple

Some readers may have heard of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), who provide national guidance to improve health and social care.

However, some may not know that NICE recognises the importance for heart patients to have access to a cardiac rehabilitation service. This recommendation is based on improvements in a cardiac patient’s quality of life, reduced mortality and hospital admissions.

In Lincolnshire, cardiac rehabilitation services run in our communities through Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust.

The service gives specialist advice and support for patients (registered with a GP within the Lincolnshire boundary) who have recently had a heart attack, those who have undergone some types of heart surgery, including some device implantation, angioplasty patients and newly-diagnosed angina patients who have had two hospital admissions in the last six months.

Patients are usually referred into the programme by their discharging hospital or GP.

The cardiac rehabilitation team supports both patients and their families following an acute cardiac event to help them understand their condition and recovery. All patients seen have a cardiac risk assessment, are given information regarding their cardiac condition, advised on how to manage it and receive important psychological support. This process is undertaken by a cardiac nurse specialist and happens in various ways, such as telephone, clinics or home visits.

Patients are then able to choose from a ‘menu’ of choice, which may include individualised plan, self-directed ‘manuals’, home-based exercise DVDs, ‘telehealth’ system or exercise programme, which are all designed to suit the individual’s choice and needs.

In Boston and South Holland, the team includes cardiac rehabilitation nurses Andy Hall and Dessiree Fletcher, and administrator Kate Kneller. This team delivers an exercise programme in the Holbeach area through a weekly session of education and exercise which can help cardiac patients reach their potential.

If you would like to know more about cardiac rehabilitation and how it could help you, speak to your GP or visit www.lincolnshirecommuni

If you have a question about services provided by LCHS in South Holland, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch via

Thanks to Andy Hall for contributing to this month’s column.