Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection

Southampton NHS, where I had my aortic surgery, runs a cardiac rehabilitation service which features an 8 week monitored course of exercise and relaxation classes. However, because I do not live in the Southampton catchment area, I do not qualify. I come under Hampshire NHS which does not seem to have a similar rehabilitation service and will not fund me to attend the Southampton one. The only option I have is the GP referral service. This should allow me to attend the local sports centre for exercise under the "Healthworks" scheme which is partly subsidised by the NHS and partly by the British Heart Foundation. My GP gave me the necessary forms and I attended an assessment meeting at the sports centre. Now, because I had not done the cardiac rehabilitation course, they would not allow me to start on a program of exercises with Healthworks. What they did promise to do, in conjuction with the local rehab nurses, is to try to get me on the rehab course via "the back door". This is all very frustrating.
It seems there is no national scheme for rehab. It is all down to local NHS trusts and it all depends on where you live.

In the mean time, I have joined a local Tai Chi class...

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Comment by Gregory Smith on March 21, 2011 at 12:08

Well, the rehab course at the Fire Service HQ is pretty much like the one at the hospital but more intensive.

They also have cycling, rowing, jogging and cross-training machines. All run under the supervision of a trained Healthworks instructor.

Comment by Kimberlee Jones on February 1, 2011 at 18:58
Congratulations!!! Glad to hear you are doing so well. Please keep us updated.
Comment by Gregory Smith on February 1, 2011 at 14:39

Well, I have now completed 10 weeks of rehabilitation classes at Winchester hospital and am feeling a lot fitter than before. I have a nice little certificate to prove it!


Next stage is to continue either at the local sports centre or the Hampshire Fire Service headquarters. Yes, that's right, the Fire Service HQ! Apparently they hold special courses there, twice a week.


I'll be letting you know how I get on...

Comment by Andrew Powlesland on November 26, 2010 at 9:09
I also had my surgery at Southampton but live in Salisbury however I had no problem with joining in with the local cardiac rehab course. The local hospital is responsible for my follow up care, they sent me the details and I booked a place with them. After I had done that I was referered to the hospital gym and have been using that without problem. I have also been swimming there as well. I have found all the rehab, gym and pool staff friendly and helpful.

Did try to join Aqua fit class at local pool, instructor and GP happy but pool management making difficulties with Health and safety. Also local authority leisure center not happy when I tried to join gym there.(nearer than hosp).

I was also training in Karate on a Saturday morning before collapse (March) and have gone back there and started joining in lessons, doing warm up, stretches, slow moves etc. I have noticed a real improvement over past few weeks. Same with gym work, started by walking for 10 mins on treadmill and can now walk for 2 and then jog for 13. So getting there slowly, trouble is if I have a good work out or walk then I am done for for the rest of the day.

PS how is Tai Chi going? I have joined a local class as well
Comment by Gregory Smith on November 8, 2010 at 9:40
Link is now on the Links page of this site.
Comment by Graeme on November 5, 2010 at 13:01
Greg, gr8 news. Can you post the link to this doc on cardiac rehab courses on the site would be very beneficial.


Comment by Gregory Smith on November 5, 2010 at 10:14
Goods news!

After some extensive searching on the net, I found a PDF document which lists all the cardiac rehab courses for the entire country. Under Hampshire, there was a contact email address for a course being run near me.
I fired off an email and got a reply the following day. I phoned the number they gave me and have arranged for an assessment at Winchester hospital next Wednesday. Incredibly, there is no mention of cardiac rehabilitation anywhere on any Hampshire NHS websites.
Comment by Graeme on November 2, 2010 at 18:30

yep! Major Major - Catch 22. I had much the same wiht my op which was at St Georges Tooting in London but I lived in Richmond. In the end my docrang up and bulldozed me inot the cardiac rehab in Richmond! So nothing has changed.. aghhh!!



ps Richard's right..Tai Chi looks good!
Comment by Richard Deal on November 2, 2010 at 10:59
bummer - i remember something similar with a friend's dad who had ms. he couldn't get the newest ms medication in worcester and tried to get referred to birmingham without success. northern ireland and scotland seem to have the most generous health services for all sorts of medication and rehab programs...
tai chi sounds like a good start... watch out for qi gong though!


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