West Cumbria Heart Service gets a thumbs-up from patients

A service that helps empower heart patients to return to their everyday functions, run jointly between two Cumbrian NHS trusts, has received top marks from its patients.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation team at West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven, recently surveyed almost 100 patients about the quality of the service the deliver. The results showed that – 

  • 100% of patients would rate the service as very helpful or helpful
  • 9 out of 10 patients have continued to exercise on a regular basis since attending the sessions
  • 89% of patients said their ability to exercise improved during the course of cardiac rehab.
  • Around 8 out of 10 patients understand what to do if they develop further chest pains
  • 7 out of 10 patients have been able to return to their hobbies and activities following the rehabilitation

The Cardiac Rehabilitation service consists of specialist nurses and physiotherapists and offers supervised exercise and education physiotherapy to patients who have been affected by heart conditions such as angina and congenital heart disease. The service is jointly run by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH) and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT). The rolling programme lasts up to 8 weeks, combining exercise and education sessions.

Patients surveyed included those who have experienced heart attacks, bypass operations, angioplasty and valve replacements.

The team also made various improvements to the service following patient feedback, including developing exercises within the circuit that patients can carry out at home without the need for gym equipment.


One patient stated: “The programme and staff were absolutely fantastic, with the right balance between information, humour and the actual physical activity.” Another said: “I felt the sessions helped me regain my confidence and some level of fitness as intended, but also they provided an opportunity to meet people who'd had similar experiences.”


Lynn Johnston, cardiac rehabilitation nurse for NCUH, said: “These are excellent results and show the hard work and dedication that the team have put into to ensuring our patients receive the best possible care. Well done to all involved.”

Fiona Temple, Clinical Lead Physiotherapist at CPFT said:

“The findings of the recent survey illustrate the true value of collaborative working in order to ensure patients receive the highest standard of quality care.”