According to a new report, half of the patients with heart disease in the UK are missing out on crucial recovery care which prevents premature mortality.
Cardiac rehabilitation which includes exercise, education and psychological support is recommended for individuals after myocardial infarction, coronary angioplasty and cardiac surgery and is also offered to some individuals with angina or heart failure.
The latest statistics from the 2019 National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation report indicate that 68,000 out of 136,000 eligible individuals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland failed to receive cardiac rehabilitation in 2017-2018. Although the quality of cardiac rehabilitation has improved over the years, its uptake rate has continued to remain around 50 per cent. As a part of the Long-Term Plan, NHS England aims to deliver cardiac rehabilitation programmes to 85 per cent of eligible individuals by 2028.
John Maingay, the Director of Policy and Influencing at the British Heart Foundation, said "These figures should give us all pause for thought. We know cardiac rehabilitation can save lives, but the static uptake rate suggests that it isn’t accessible or flexible enough to work for everyone, or that its benefits are not being clearly enough explained to patients."