Western Sussex Hospitals have joined up with Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals to form a new NHS Foundation Trust for our area: University Hospitals Sussex.

You can keep using this website for information about St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands hospitals but for our other sites and to find out more about the new trust please visit www.uhsussex.nhs.uk.

The rehab programme

Our cardiac rehabilitation service offers advice, information and activity sessions to people diagnosed with a heart problem.

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For patients being seen by the Worthing and Southlands Cardiac Rehab Service, for example, we offer the following:

Early advice and information

Once someone is admitted to hospital with a heart problem (such as heart attack or coronary stent) a member of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Team will try to see them at least once while they are on the ward to

  • explain what has happened,
  • give them an idea of what to expect as they recover, and
  • offer advice on what they should do next to try to reduce the risk of heart problems in the future.

We will also give them written information to help explain this.

If someone is not seen on the ward, then a member of the team will telephone at the earliest opportunity to offer advice and support. If appropriate, a home visit can be arranged.

Information/education sessions

We hold a half-day education session every 2-3 weeks designed to give patients and their families information on how to reduce their risk of heart problems in the future.

This is a popular, rolling programme of talks including sessions with a dietitian and a pharmacist, as well as advice on exercise, managing stress and understanding your heart. There is also an opportunity to learn basic life support skills.

We also provide a wide range of written information and leaflets for patients and their family to take away with them.

The education sessions provide an opportunity to discuss any worries with a member of the team or the Cardiac Buddies, and to chat to other people who have had similar experiences. For further details on the dates for these sessions click here 

Assessment clinics

Once referred to the service, patients and their families are invited to attend a one-to-one clinic appointment with a member of the team to assess on an individual basis what help they may need in their recovery.

They may also undergo a supervised walking test to assess their level of fitness before being referred to an exercise class.

Exercise classes

Patients referred to our service will be given the opportunity to attend a course of weekly exercise sessions to help gain the confidence and motivation to continue exercising for life.

These classes are supervised by members of the rehab team, and are offered in a variety of venues in hospital and in the community to offer choice and convenience for patients.

The exercise classes are also attended by Cardiac Buddies – for more information on buddies click here 

Home exercise programme

For anyone who is unable to attend the exercise sessions or prefers the convenience of exercising at home at a time that suits them, we can offer a home-based service.

Following assessment by a member of our team, we can provide an exercise DVD for patients to follow or a more individual programme based on the patient’s needs. These can be followed up by telephone or a home visit as required.

Stress management sessions

The team offers a regular programme of stress management sessions for patients who need them.

Patients have the opportunity to explore their reaction to stress and practice a variety of relaxation techniques in a small group setting. A relaxation CD is also available.

Advice on long-term maintenance

At the completion of the rehab programme we will encourage patients to continue with what they have learnt forever; including joining a gym or an exercise class with a cardiac-trained instructor if possible.

Patients are made aware that they can access the rehab  team at any time in the future for advice and support.

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