MP joins fight to re-open cardiac unit

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Daventry’s MP is backing a campaign to re-open the cardiac rehabilitation unit at Danetre Hospital.

Chris Heaton-Harris joined almost 40 concerned residents at a meeting in Flore last week where he heard the experiences of those people who benefited from the service prior to its closure in April this year.

Chairing the meeting was Viv Crouch who set up and ran the unit, with National Lottery funding, from 2005 until her retirement in November 2010.

The unit provided advice, aftercare and exercise and healthy eating programmes for those who have suffered a heart event and their families.

Mrs Crouch was thrilled to received the MP’s backing.

Mr Heaton-Harris said it was a very black and white issue and he would be backing the campaign.

He told a meeting: “It is much harder to re-open a unit once it has closed but when we are all living long and active lives thanks to cardiac rehab I think we have a strong case.

“The first thing we need to do is approach the person who commissions this service and do our research.”

The MP and Mrs Crouch encouraged the group to write case studies and letters about their experiences to take to the NHS Nene commissioning board, responsible for most of the local healthcare budget for the county.

Mrs Crouch would also like to hear from anyone who has been affected since the closure of the unit and has had to travel to Kettering or Northampton for rehabilitation.

People attending the meeting included Weedon parish councillor Jim Mantz, who had quadruple bypass surgery. He spoke about previous heart conditions.

After the meeting, Mrs Crouch said: “I wasn’t expecting so many people so I’m really pleased with how many came. It just shows how concerned people are about this.”