Saving lives and saving money
promoting the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation
EMPACT and the Cardiac and Stroke Network (CSN) have been working together to promote the benefits of the national Cardiac Rehabilitation Commissioning packs across the East Midlands. Good cardiac rehabilitation (CR) involves a comprehensive assessment, ideally by multi-disciplinary teams, followed by a full care plan, involving medication, therapy and lifestyle advice.
The first phase of this key EMPACT/CSN project is now complete. The market development team has worked with the CSN to carry out a full regional market assessment using local evidence to understand what uptake rates are, what will be required to increase them, and where increases should take place. Coronary heart disease is the most common cause of premature death in the UK, accounting for almost half of all cardiovascular disease deaths.
Further adoption of cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to reduce re-admissions, lower the risk of secondary cardiac events, improve overall patient satisfaction, and produce cost savings. However, current uptake rates in the East Midlands vary – and in some areas they are as low as a third of all patients who have suffered cardiac episodes.
Issues to overcome include low patient awareness, a shortage of clinical capacity in some areas, variations in specifications for rehabilitation services and lack of investment in CR. We are now developing with CSN an East Midlands model for CR to iron out unwanted variations and promote better awareness among patients and commissioners of the benefits good CR can bring.