"Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Clinic -..."

About: Charing Cross Hospital

Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Clinic - excellent service I am writing to express my gratitude and admiration for the work of the Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Clinic at the Charing Cross, in supporting my recovery from a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). I attended the Clinic’s programme of weekly rehab classes. I initially assumed that the Clinic would be a “nice-to-have” rather than a significant part of my rehab. In fact it turned out to be an essential element in my recovery. The following features especially impressed me: Initial contact – a member of the rehab team came to see me at the Hammersmith during my hospital stay, to let me know about the Clinic’s programme and to invite me to join. This was then followed up promptly with an appointment letter. Monitoring – I had some impairment to my liver function after the operation, so it was necessary to continue taking blood tests for some months to check that my liver was recovering. I had my blood tests at the Charing Cross blood unit, and the cardiac nurse specialist monitored the results, kept me informed, and also monitored my blood pressure each week, and recommended adjustments to my medication. Fitness - the fitness specialist, assessed my level of fitness at the start of the programme, and recommended the level of exercise that I could safely adopt. He also re-assessed my fitness at the end of the programme. I was given very useful advice about optimal levels of exercise each week. The rehab classes include a fitness session. Diet - the clinic’s dieticians gave me very useful advice on a healthy low-cholesterol diet. Lectures – at the end of each rehab class we were given helpful lectures on subjects such as sleep, the psychological impact of cardiac operations, and making lifestyle changes. The team gave me a number of useful hand-outs on all of these topics, including their detailed paper on “Recovering from Heart Surgery”. The team were also very prompt at responding to my emails and phone messages. Finally, the team dealt very well with the crisis posed by the swimming-pool flood at the health centre where the rehab classes are held. They found a viable alternative venue, and kept me informed about its location and the timing of the classes. This is a most impressive and well-integrated team, led very effectively. Their care for me was a vital part of my recovery from a major operation, and is a real credit to the NHS.

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