New rehab resources help cardiac patients at Worthing and Southlands hospitals

Heart patients at Worthing and Southlands hospitals have benefited from a range of rehabilitation resources in lockdown, thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Fund.

Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 3:48 pm

Cardiac Rehab Support West Sussex (CRSWS) was given £10,000 in September to support the charity’s service at Western Sussex Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with the NHS pulmonary and cardiac rehab team.

With traditional methods of rehabilitation now put on hold due to Covid-19, it is thanks to the work that began last autumn that the charity has been able to respond so quickly to changes during lockdown.

Tracey Molina, team lead for Worthing and Southlands hospitals, said: “We feel very lucky to be in this position. If we hadn’t started the ball rolling with this work back in September, we wouldn’t have been able to react as quickly to the Covid situation.

Celebrating the £10,000 lottery grant in September, members of the pulmonary and cardiac rehab team at Worthing Hospital

“Hopefully, soon we might be in a position to offer face-to-face sessions again but, in the meantime, we are very happy to be able to offer these virtual programmes, which will still be a useful alternative in the future for those patients who do not want, or need, the face-to-face sessions.”

The grant was given to help improve access and treatment options for patients at Worthing and Southlands hospitals, particularly benefiting the older and more frail patients with restricted mobility or poor access to public transport.

The charity planned to use the money, and its own resources, to set up exercise groups in new locations, fund transport for patients who have poor mobility or disabilities, and provide resources to enable cardiac patients to carry out comprehensive exercise sessions safely in their own homes.

Steve Hodder, trustee, said: “Little did we know then that in March of this year, the whole country would be in lockdown and all our traditional methods of cardiac rehabilitation would be put on hold.

Some of the new manuals

“The lottery money has paid for the training of a member of NHS staff to learn how to use these resources and funded the purchase of both digital and paper-based rehab programmes to suit a variety of cardiac conditions.

“These programmes, when used alongside regular telephone and video call support from the NHS team, have meant patients can still access cardiac rehab.”

The NHS cardiac rehab team is now able to send patients programmes by post, including a relaxation CD, information about their conditions and instructions on what exercise they can be doing at home. These can also be accessed digitally and online, if the patient prefers.

The aims of the charity are to relieve the needs of West Sussex patients suffering, or recovering, from a cardiac condition, by providing support, advice and information and to advance the education of the public in all matters relating to cardiac conditions.

Some of the new manuals

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