News Date: Monday 10th December 2007
Tim supports campaign to improve cardiac treatment
Last week East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton backed a British Heart Foundation (BHF) campaign to improve access to cardiac rehabilitation, an inexpensive treatment which is proven to save lives.
Tim met constituents and protestors at the House of Commons including patients and staff from Worthing Hospital to hear their concerns about the lack of adequate cardiac rehab services.
The BHF's National Campaign for Cardiac Rehabilitation calls for:
- every heart patient who is suitable and wishes to take part to be offered a rehabilitation programme
- patients to be offered alternative methods, such as home-based rehabilitation, if they prefer not to take part in a group programme or attend hospital as an outpatient
- efforts be made to ensure that rehabilitation programmes meet the needs of under-represented groups, particularly ethnic minorities and women
- each programme to meet the minimum standards set out by the British Association for Cardiac Rehabilitation
- standards to be monitored through the National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation.
Protestors marched with placards and gathered for a photo wearing over-sized sale tags around their necks denoting ?600, which is how much it costs to give a patient the minimum level of cardiac rehabilitation in the UK.
"I am delighted to be supporting this campaign. Earlier this year a BHF audit revealed a postcode lottery for cardiac rehabilitation treatment. Only 40% of those who needed it had access to it. This is despite the fact that it offers patients a 26% greater chance of surviving in the five years following the diagnosis of heart conditions.
"A nearly 2.6 million people in the UK are living with heart disease it is a false economy for health services not to consider seriously the future of this vital, life-saving treatment."
Note to Editor:
1) For more information please visit www.bhf.org.uk