November 1, 2012
Where your money goes
of the questions we get asked most frequently is ‘where do you
spend your money?’
Digital media officer Corinne Pritchard reveals how your
donations are helping heart patients directly.
When we ask people what
they think having a heart attack means, the idea that most often
comes to mind is that a heart attack is something sudden, and
We've put £19.5 million into giving support to the people who help look after your heart.
What we’re less used to is the idea that thanks to impressive
advances in medicine over the last fifty years, more and more
people are surviving
However, a heart attack often causes permanent damage to the
heart, and is also usually a sign of coronary heart disease – a
chronic, life-long condition.
And because so many more people are surviving heart attacks,
nearly 750,000 people in the UK alone are now living with heart
failure – the final and currently incurable stage of heart
Looking after you and your loved ones
When someone you love is in hospital, or back home
recovering from a heart operation, or just dealing with the day to
day reality of living with heart disease, it’s important to know
that there’s someone looking after their interests - and there for
Which is why, thanks to your generosity, in the last few years
we have put £19.5 million into training and giving
support to the people who help look after your heart, in hospital
and at home.
And it’s not just about heart attacks – we also help
children and adults with
other heart problems.
Getting to where we’re needed
We currently fund the salaries of 40 heart
nurses around the country both in hospital and community
settings. These include cardiac rehab nurses, heart failure
specialist nurses, arrhythmia nurses, and more. Our palliative care
nurses help care for those who are terminally ill, whose hearts are
damaged beyond the capability of modern medicine to repair them. We
do the same for more than 60 other healthcare professionals from
ambulance services to dieticians.
Your donations also help us support over 800
healthcare practitioners from nurses to sonographers with their
education and specialist training needs. Louise Plant is one of the
Heart Failure Specialist Nurses we support – she gets access to
funding which she can spend on training to help her get more
expertise in her field.
"The support I receive as a Heart Failure
Specialist Nurse is excellent. Without it, it would be very
difficult to maintain the level of knowledge and skills to fulfil
my role. The comprehensive regular training and the personal
allowance really helps nurses like me."
In the last year alone, our nurses have seen 170,000
patients and with their help 10,000
people have avoided the disruption and distress of
a hospital stay – by being treated at home or in a local clinic
Norah Taggert is 83 and lives in Hastings. She
has had heart failure for two years. One of the symptoms of heart
failure is retaining excess fluid, which usually needs intravenous
drugs to help get your levels down. The first time this happened to
Norah she had to stay in hospital for three weeks - the second time
one of our Heart Failure Specialist Nurses was available to treat
her at home.
"It was just so much more comfortable.
It’s all the little things you want like not waiting around, or
going to bed when you like."
We have also given 20,000 teaching sessions to
help get healthcare staff up to speed on the latest theories and
innovations for treating and managing heart conditions.
Preparation is everything
When someone collapses at their desk or has a heart attack on
the street, thanks to your donations you’re never far from someone
who knows what to do.
Heartstart programme has already taught more than 3
million people to help save lives, and our
Hands-only CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) campaign
featuring Vinnie Jones is helping more and more people have the
confidence to do CPR.
Last year alone we helped fund 450 more
defibrillators. They’re getting placed in offices, stations and
leisure facilities UK-wide to help people who have a cardiac
The road to recovery
With so many more people now surviving a heart attack and
cardiac arrest, helping them feel well again is increasingly
Your donations have helped us campaign for a national programme
of cardiac rehabilitation. We’ve been working hard to secure the
policy changes which are helping drive up standards and quality of
cardiac rehabilitation across the UK. You can find out what you
should expect from a good cardiac rehabilitation service with
our guide for heart patients.
And we’re still working away in the background to provide
training materials to help keep those standards up. And for those
who need support when a loved one is affected, we have a
helpline staffed by experts who can provide information and
reassurance to help the whole family manage.
We also have a free magazine,
heart matters, available online and delivered to your
door – whichever you prefer - with plenty of tips and advice to
help you and your family prevent heart disease and manage