A PIONEERING heart care unit aiming to help patients change their lifestyle to cope with cardiac problems has opened at Wycombe Hospital.

Mayor of High Wycombe Trevor Snaith officially opened the new Care4Today Heart Health Solutions cardiac rehabilitation programme last Friday.

It aims to give cardiac patients across the county support so they can continue to lead the fullest life possible, giving them web-based ‘tools’ to help manage their condition and keep them from hospital readmittance.

Dr Piers Clifford, Cardiology Consultant and Clinical Lead for Cardiology, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, has been instrumental in adopting the programme.

He said: “Rehabilitation is incredibly important for patients who have suffered a cardiac episode. Having fast and easy access to a programme that addresses their needs, gives them the information they need, when they need it and allows them to take control of their own recovery, helps to prevent a future cardiac episode or readmission to hospital.”

The cardiac team at the Trust have been working with Janssen Healthcare Innovation to develop the Care4Toda Heart Health Solutions pilot programme – the first of its kind in the country.

All patients have access to the programme after a cardiac episode. They are assessed in the new Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit and are given an individual recovery programme.

They can attend exercise classes and health reviews, while patients and the health professionals looking after them are able to track progress online and patients also have access to a wide range of educational materials tailored to meet their specific needs, including a personalised website.

Anne Eden, Chief Executive of the Trust added: “Using digital technology in this way makes the patient journey more efficient and allows our staff to spend more time face-to-face with our patients.