Heart rehab clinic ‘is not as good as it should be’

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CONCERNS are still being raised about the standard of care at Danetre Hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation unit – despite NHS Northamptonshire reassuring patients the service will continue.

In February the nurse who set up the centre, Viv Crouch, said that since she retired in November 2010 treatment time at the unit has been reduced from 45 hours down to 18.

She feared that may lead to the unit being closed all together, but on Monday last week a letter was sent to patients confirming this won’t be the case.

However, Mrs Crouch described the letter as a ‘fob off’ and is still worried the standard of care has declined alarmingly.

She said: “I’m concerned because the hospital is now offering a poorer service and people’s health could suffer.

“The service isn’t what it used to be and isn’t what was set out by commission guidelines.

“They don’t offer the same gym programme or health talks which are a big part of people’s recovery.”

The lottery-funded centre first opened in 2005 and is one of only 36 in the country.

Jan Miles, 66, suffered a heart attack three-and-a-half years ago and was treated at Danetre.

She said: “The rehab I had gave me the confidence to realise that life isn’t over. The one to one sessions were great and it’s very detrimental to the service to not have those anymore. It’s also not helping people get back to normal life which in the long run will put more of a burden on the NHS.

The letter sent out by NHS Northamptonshire said: “Arrangements are in place to ensure that patients requiring cardiac rehabilitation nursing can be seen within the Daventry area. The member of staff delivering this service is an experienced community matron who has previously worked within the cardiac rehabilitation service.”