Cardiac rehabilitation is an outpatient service for people who have had a cardiac illness or treatment. We work with you to help you improve and regain your physical fitness and strength. We also help you to understand your condition and manage it in the future.
People attend cardiac rehab some weeks after their cardiac illness or treatment. They may have had a heart attack, stents, coronary artery bypass surgery, heart valve surgery, heart transplant, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) surgery or a mild/moderate stroke.
Our multidisciplinary team provides a programme of exercise, information and support. This team includes nurses, a cardiac physiologist, a psychologist, a physiotherapist, a pharmacist, a dietician and admin staff.
We run several cardiac rehab programmes every week, with ten people on each course.
When patients first come to us, they are given an initial physical assessment – a treadmill exercise stress test. Patients then attend the programme twice a week over the course of eight weeks. On one of these days, they do an hour of exercise. On the other day, they do an hour of exercise and get an hour-long talk from the team.
During the exercise sessions, the patient wears a telemetry heart monitor for the first few weeks and exercises on a circuit of different equipment, including the treadmill, bicycle, rower, weights, cross-trainer, climber and stepper.
The talks are on topics such as heart disease and its risk factors, healthy eating, managing stress, medications, the role of exercise in managing heart disease, an overview of cholesterol and blood pressure and managing angina.
Patients then undertake a second treadmill test. Their bloods and blood pressure are measured, and 24-hour blood pressure monitoring is set up if necessary. They are then given access to a mindfulness course and to follow-on exercise programmes in the community.
Our department has been open since 1993, and the most common feedback we hear is “I got my confidence back”. There is an important fun element to the programmes, and many long-term friendships are made. The service is free.
The service was set up in 1993. Nurses with specialist training in cardiac care, disease prevention and sports medicine coordinate and manage the department.
Some of the members of our multidisciplinary team are detailed below.
Other support and input comes from the Pharmacy Department, the cardiac physiologists, dieticians and the Blood Testing Department. We also have excellent links with other teams throughout the hospital.
Referrals to our service are usually sent to us from your team during or after your treatment at the Mater Hospital. There are occasional exceptions; any enquiries may be made directly to us using the contact details above.
We will send you a letter inviting you to an introductory session, which will last approximately one hour. At the session, we will give an overview of the service, check your blood pressure and answer any queries you have.
If you are interested in enrolling, you will be given a choice of a couple of groups, so you can pick the one that suits your schedule best.
We will give you a written note of the date of your initial stress test and your starting date appointment. We will include our contact details in case of any problems.
There are changing room and shower facilities on site. Meter parking is available on the street, or you can use the car park, which is almost directly across the road.