Improving access to cardiac rehabilitation for people with heart failure in Scotland
Scotland Grant – Prof Rod Taylor, University of Glasgow
Summary: Fewer than 1 in 20 patients admitted to hospital with heart failure participate in cardiac rehabilitation. This project will assess the benefits of a home-based rehabilitation programme, called ‘REACH-HF’, on patients with heart failure in Scotland with the aim of improving access to cardiac rehabilitation.
Heart failure affects 1 million adults in the UK and costs the NHS about £2 billion each year. Heart failure reduces quality of life for patients and can lead to unplanned stays in hospital. Cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to benefit patients and is cost-effective, however, less than 1 in 20 patients admitted to hospital with heart failure participate in cardiac rehabilitation. People with heart failure can find it difficult to travel to hospital to take part in rehabilitation or may dislike group-based sessions. Delivering rehabilitation in a more accessible setting, such as the patient’s home, offers the opportunity for more patients to take part.
In a recently completed clinical trial, Professor Taylor’s team showed that a new 12-week home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme called ‘REACH-HF’ improves patient quality of life, offers good value for money for the NHS, and is acceptable to patients, caregivers and health professionals.
This project will look at the impact of offering REACH-HF in ‘real world’ NHS settings in Scotland. The programme will be rolled-out across three Scottish Health Boards. Patient information, including quality of life, ability to exercise, hospital admissions and costs, will be collected before and after the programme. Cardiac rehabilitation and Heath Board staff will be interviewed to find out what affects the organisation of the REACH-HF programme and the number of patients participating. This will allow them to determine the impact of REACH-HF on the costs and benefits for three NHS Scotland Health Boards.
REACH-HF has the potential to improve patient outcomes, such as health-related quality of life, and to reduce time spent in hospital. This project will help us to understand the best way to fully roll-out REACH-HF across more NHS Health boards in Scotland. It is hoped that REACH-HF will improve the choice of, and access to, rehabilitation services for people with heart failure, so improving the quality of life for people with heart failure in Scotland.