What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Recovering from a cardiac event can be challenging and frightening. A service called Cardiac Rehabilitation has been developed to support you following:

  • Heart attack
  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • Valve surgery
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • PCI Percutaneous coronary intervention (insertion of a stent)
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If you are recently recovering from any of the conditions above, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Team can provide you with the opportunity to access nurses, physiotherapists and exercise physiologists, and signpost you to other specialist services such as: dietetics and clinical psychology. The Cardiac Rehabilitation Team can help with your recovery and make it a positive experience. Cardiac Rehabilitation is fully supported by your heart specialist and GP.

Cardiac Rehabilitation offers a variety of services, tailored to your needs. These services include:

  • exercise
  • support with lifestyle changes
  • regular contact with the team (which is especially important in the early months after your cardiac event)

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Team can help you:

  • have a better understanding of your cardiac condition
  • rebuild your confidence in a safe environment, at your pace
  • make positive changes to your lifestyle
  • improve your long-term heart health and reduce the likelihood of further cardiac events and admissions to hospital
  • with direct and timely access to cardiac specialists who can support you in your recovery, by helping you set realistic personalised goals
  • have direct and timely access to Cardiac Rehabilitation specialists guidance and support if you experience a deterioration in your emotional health or sleep
  • recognise when your symptoms change, that may affect the activities you are able to undertake, including returning to work
  • understand your medication and identify any possible side effects, and
  • meet others going through similar experiences.

A very important part of the Cardiac Rehabilitation process is making sure that the goals you set are related to your physical capabilities.

What happens at the Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Programme?

The programme includes:

  • Pre-assessment with a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist. In this session your health and wellbeing will be discussed. This assessment will include: questions about your current conditions, general health, current medications, employment status, and how you manage daily activities.
  • A possible exercise assessment. The Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist will discuss your best management options with you. You will develop a personalised plan together.

Following discussions at your assessment:

If you are suitable for exercise, you will be offered 1 or 2 exercise sessions per week (about one hour long) over six weeks. In total you will be able to attend 6 - 12 exercise sessions. The type of exercise chosen will depend on what you would like to do based on the most suitable exercise, and what is offered in your area.

What happens if I attend an exercise class

All exercise sessions are staffed by Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists trained in supervision and exercise instruction. At each session you will be instructed in exercises based on your initial assessment information.

  • Each session will also provide you with the advice and guidance to help you learn more about your condition and the ways in which you can look after your heart health over the coming months and years.
  • On completion of your exercise programme a post-exercise assessment will be organised. The purpose of this assessment will be to look at how your heart health has improved over the course of the programme. You will be offered advice and guidance in the form of a long-term plan, to help you maintain your positive lifestyle changes.

Where will I be seen?

Depending on your individual circumstances and needs you will be seen in one of our hospital, community clinics or gym venues available across Birmingham and Solihull. You will be given the choice to attend a venue closest to your home or with the shortest waiting list.


Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme Finder

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