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Heartwatch Tickiing Along Nicely Thanks to Council Team

Clitheroe mum Diane Simpson, with healthy lifestyles officer Sharron Whiteoak.
Clitheroe mum Diane Simpson, with healthy lifestyles officer Sharron Whiteoak.
Published Friday, 27 June 2014

A cardiac rehabilitation programme for Ribble Valley residents with heart problems is ticking along nicely thanks to the borough council's healthy lifestyles team.

Heartwatch helps residents recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery return to health through physical activity and advice tailored specifically to their needs.

It starts with gentle circuit sessions and progresses to more independent gym sessions, as participants gain fitness and confidence.

Participants are referred to the 12-week scheme by their GPs and are continually assessed and supported. Afterwards, they can continue with the scheme or take up alternative exercise.

Over 300 participants have passed through Heartwatch, which is managed by Ribble Valley Borough Council and funded by the East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, since it started in 2003.

Ribble Valley Borough Council's health and fitness officer, Tracy Balko, said: "Cardiac rehabilitation schemes run successfully throughout the country, but the uniqueness of Heartwatch is the close working relationship that the healthy lifestyles team has with the local clinical team, which ensures participants are getting the absolute best guidance and support.”

Clitheroe mum Diane Simpson, who was referred to Heartwatch by her GP following a heart attack, said the scheme was changing her life.

"The Heartwatch team really know their stuff and are helping me return to fitness in a way that is appropriate to my needs. I can't recommend it enough and encourage everyone with cardiac conditions to take part."

Heartwatch is part of Ribble Valley Borough Council's successful Healthy Lifestyles programme, which has helped nearly 5,000 residents since starting in 2001.

The programme offers a range of classes for people with specific health needs, such as heart complaints and weight management, as well as long-term conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease.

It was recently rated as good or very good by 97 per cent of respondents in a survey, with a further 97 per cent also saying they had made positive changes to their lives as a result of taking part.

Further details see Heartwatch or contact the healthy lifestyles team on 01200 414484.

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