Learn more about what you can expect from our cardiovascular health and rehabilitation programme.

Our programme is designed to improve your quality of life, and manage factors that influence your heart health, such as high blood pressure, raised cholesterol and anxiety and depression. We are a friendly team of health professionals dedicated to supporting your recovery.

The programme is for people who:

  • have had a recent heart attack
  • have had an angina that has required a stent
  • have had heart surgery such as bypass or heart valve operation
  • have heart failure, provided they are well
  • have had implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD) or cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT)

Other heart patients are considered on an individual basis.

The programme begins when you attend your first appointment. One of our priorities is to find out how you and your family are coping and if you have any worries or questions about what has happened to you. We are here to answer those questions for you and give you the most up-to-date advice.

We can advise you on eating a heart-friendly diet, maintaining a healthy weight, returning to physical activities and getting back to work. We also offer smoking cessation support.

Our specialist nurses will also make sure that you know the correct medications you should be taking and that you understand how your medicines work.

Charing Cross Hospital programme

If you decide to attend the Charing Cross programme you will be sent an appointment to see a nurse, a dietitian and an exercise specialist. This appointment will last for two hours and is held at Charing Cross Hospital. At this appointment our team will see how you and your family are getting on and if you have any questions or worries about what has happened to you.

Our specialist nurses will make sure that you are taking the correct medication at the right dose and that you understand how your medicines work and affect you. We also offer stop smoking support. We will advise you on eating a heart-friendly diet and maintaining a healthy weight, managing erectile dysfunction or impotence (this is common in men with heart disease), and returning to physical activities and getting back to work.

After the appointment you will be given the opportunity to join our cardiac class or to be given a home programme. We’re happy to discuss all the options with you.
Before you begin the programme, your case will be discussed with our cardiologist to discuss any changes to your care or treatment that might be necessary.

The programme

You can attend the cardiac classes at Charing Cross Hospital for up to eight weekly sessions. You will see a nurse each week to check your blood pressure and discuss your progress. The exercise is led by the exercise instructor who is specially trained in exercising people with heart problems and is designed to help you in your recovery. It is suitable for people of all levels of fitness, age and ability. You progress at your own pace and are supervised and monitored.

There are also health talks each week which cover over a range of health issues including healthy eating and managing stress.

After the programme

After you have completed your programme you will attend a second clinic appointment with the team. You may then be referred locally for a further physical activity programme and this will assist you with maintaining a healthier lifestyle. There are many community-based programmes available and if you are interested, you will be given contact details at the end of the programme.

St Mary’s Hospital programme

Very similar to the Charing Cross programme but the initial appointment is held at St Mary’s Hospital with classes held either at St Mary’s or the Seymour Centre (five minutes from the main hospital) for up to eight weekly sessions.

Ealing community programme

Very similar to the Charing Cross programme but the initial appointment is held at Hanwell Health Centre or the Peart-Rose Clinic at Hammersmith Hospital. Classes are at various locations across the borough for up to six weekly sessions.

Patient information

The British Heart Foundation offers a variety of booklets and resources to support you on your cardiac rehab journey.