What to expect from cardiac rehabilitation

If you have a heart attack, once you’ve been discharged you’ll be referred to a cardiac rehabilitation team. If you are nearer King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth or Suffolk, you’ll be referred to a team in your local area. Otherwise, you’ll be contacted by us and can expect recovery and support appointments as below:

If you’ve been treated as an elective (non-emergency) patient you may also be referred back to your local hospital for rehabilitation. If this is your local hospital, you can expect appointments as below:We use a programme called the Heart Manual for heart attack patients and the Angioplasty Plan for elective angioplasty patients. You should be given a pack before your discharge which contains a book and other resources.

For more information about Cardiac Rehab and how it can benefit you, please see www.cardiacrehab-eastofengland.nhs.uk. This website has lots of handy information and supporting details, as well as explainer videos and patient interviews so you can get a better understanding about what the programme is and how it can work for you.

Community Cardiac Rehabilitation Programmes

When and if appropriate, you’ll be given the choice of referral to one of your local community programmes. Our team runs one at Cloverhill Community Centre in Bowthorpe, Norwich and a Norfolk Community Health Care Trust team runs similar programmes in Dereham, Swaffham, Fakenham, Kelling, Horning and Poringland.

The Cloverhill Community Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme

This is run by a multi-disciplinary team also based at NNUH comprising specialist nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and our volunteer, with input from dieticians and pharmacists where needed. This is a group programme – we normally accommodate up to 20 people but this is currently much reduced due to coronavirus.

Admission is by referral only after your initial appointments. The programme is every Tuesday for six weeks:

Week 1 (afternoon): Assessment – a chat with members of the multi-disciplinary team and a “shuttle” walking test to gauge your starting fitness level

Weeks 2 – 4 (9am – approx. midday): Exercise session, followed by a programme of educational talks and relaxation. Exercise sessions are tailored to your fitness level and ability and consist of a specially-designed circuit of exercises, with a guided warm-up and cool down. Educational talks and workshops cover topics including managing changes, stress and wellbeing, diet and food labelling, the heart and risk factors, exercise, medications and sleep.

Week 6 (afternoon): Discharge session.


If you’re unable to attend community rehabilitation sessions, you can take part in our educational talks on Zoom. They run on Mondays at 1.15pm and referral is also via your healthcare professional at your initial appointments. The rolling five-week programme covers the heart and risk factors, exercise, medications, diet and food labelling, making changes and managing stress.