A thousand people a year benefit from the cardiac rehabilitation programme in Buckinghamshire. The crucial exercise element of the programme depends entirely on charitable donation. If everybody who benefitted from it donated £20, we would have no worries about keeping this vital service going.
Why we exist
You may be surprised to learn that the NHS does not provide the entire funding for the superb cardiac rehabilitation service that we enjoy in Buckinghamshire. If you or a loved one have experienced it, you will know what a fantastic job the team does to help people get their lives back to normal after cardiac events. And it’s not just us saying so. The British Association for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation (BACPR) has congratulated the team on providing a ‘well-run cardiac rehabilitation programme…that is multidisciplinary in nature and offers a varied menu-based approach which lends itself to greater patient choice’. Furthermore, in the Patient Experience Network National Awards 2014 the team’s Care4Today Heart Health programme provided by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust in association with Janssen Healthcare Innovation won the prestigious Partnership Working to Improve the Experience Award and were finalists for the Continuity of Care Award.
A key part of the rehabilitation process is Active Hearts. Active Hearts provides a professional, monitored and controlled exercise programme to help more and more patients regain their health, ﬁtness and position in society. It was set up by, and is part of, the progressive Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Service in Buckinghamshire. It operates under the guidance of the NHS Community Cardiac Nursing staff. You can find out all about the service and see a video of the team talking about their work by clicking here. You can also read a patient’s first hand experience by downloading What happens in the cardiac rehabiliation programme?
There are four phases to cardiac events and rehabilitation.
- Phase I is the actual cardiac event.
- Phase II is the home recovery.
- Phase III is the rehabilitation exercise programme
- Phase IV is the return to a normal exercise regime.
Running the Phase III exercise programme costs in excess of £20,000 a year, which is funded by charitable donations. Hearts & Souls is the charity that is dedicated to raising this money.
When we came into being
In 1997 a group of grateful cardiac patients and dedicated exercise instructors set up Hearts & Souls to support cardiac rehabilitation services across Buckinghamshire, in particular Active Hearts. Two years later it became a Registered Charity approved by the Charity Commissioners. To download our leaflet please click here or on the image.
What we do
We provide grants and funding to:
- Pay for the Phase III Rehabilitation Classes so that they are completely free at point of use, making them available to everyone who needs them.
- Pay for staff education and training, ensuring skills and knowledge are up to date
- Provide Active Hearts uniforms for all the exercise and nursing staff
- Pay for the purchase and maintenance of medical and exercise equipment including the all-important step counters that we lend to every patient
Why we lend every patient a step counter
Walking is a key part of the rehabilitation programme and the rehab team want to know how many steps patients take each day so that they can progress them appropriately. That’s why we lend each patient who goes through the Phase III rehabilitation programme a step counter. They are great little gadgets and cost around £20. We lend these step counters in good faith but we count on patients returning them when they complete the programme. You will be dismayed to learn that many patients fail to do so and it is literally costing us thousands of pounds every year. If anyone wants a step counter, we are more than happy to provide one in return for a suitable donation. Please ask the rehab team. Download our instruction leaflet for the step counter here.
How we raise funds
We receive personal and corporate donations. Many supporters save their loose change in our special collection boxes. We run fundraising events such as quiz nights, dances and our ever popular Annual Race Night & Supper. We also organise a Christmas rafﬂe and a sponsored Bridges Walk. Some supporters hold their own events to help us. Would you like to run an event? Many people are kind enough to remember us in their Wills, too.