The Royal Bournemouth Hospital and the Dorset Heart Centre have two reasons to celebrate this October. The Cardiac Rehabilitation service has reached its 25th anniversary and provided its 1,000th rehabilitation course.
Dr Adrian Rozkovec, Cardiologist at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, initiated the Cardiac Rehabilitation service in 1989, with the help of specialist Cardiac Rehabilitation nurse, Sister Vicky Sievey. The Cardiac Rehabilitation course aims to provide a seven-week rehabilitation course, encompassing exercise, health education and support, to patients who have had a heart attack, heart surgery or coronary stenting.
The patient’s partner can also attend to support and encourage their loved one as they rehabilitate and the hospital has now delivered in excess of 1,000 courses with over 10,000 patients and around 6,000 partners completing a course.
Bournemouth Heart Club is a charity formed by the first patients attending the course and is the home of the rehabilitation service. Patients completing the seven-week rehabilitation course can then go on to join the Heart Club for regular supervised exercise.
Dr Rozkovec said: “The success of the past 25 years could not have been achieved without the support of our staff and members involved, both past and present, and throughout, this has been a joint project between Bournemouth Hospital and the Heart Club charity.
“We receive 2,000 new NHS referrals per year and there are 4,000 Bournemouth Heart Club exercise attendees per month, making Bournemouth one of the largest cardiac rehabilitation centres in the country.”
A special event to mark the achievements was recently attended by 250 guests, which included patients and their partners from both past and present, as well as staff from Bournemouth Hospital and Bournemouth Heart Club, including Trust Chairman Jane Stichbury and Nick Morgan, Chairman of Bournemouth Heart Club.
Former open-heart surgery patient, Sally Hallum, spoke about her experience: “I am so passionate about the service and what rehabilitation does for patients. It teaches you not to give up but rather to build on a better future for yourself, to become healthy both physically and mentally. You mended my heart and now you will be in my heart forever more.”