Anne-Marie felt nervous after she was discharged from hospital following triple bypass surgery. She had only her immediate family to help her at home. And as she described:
“I felt like I fell through the cracks. When I left the hospital, my husband was given a sick woman in a wheelchair and a big bag of pills. I had heard about cardiac rehabilitation, so I followed up to see if I could join a program as I thought this could help me get back on my feet.
“But I was told they would get back to me. When they finally did – 15 weeks after my operation – I was already back at work, so couldn’t attend. I wasn’t offered any other alternative.”
When the British Heart Foundation’s National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation report was published, a blunt analysis by their auditors concluded that “cardiac rehabilitation remains a Cinderella service.”
But the grim reality is hardly less Cinderella-ish on this side of the pond. And the reason so many freshly-diagnosed heart patients like Anne-Marie are falling through the cracks lies squarely with the doctors who are failing to refer their patients to cardiac rehab. Continue reading “Failure to refer: why are doctors ignoring cardiac rehab?”