Hearty Lives Ayrshire and Arran

A patient consulting a doctor

People living in Ayrshire and Arran have the highest risk of coronary heart disease in Scotland.

Hearty Lives Ayrshire and Arran is a £235,000 partnership project with NHS Aryshire and Arran, offering a cardiac psychology service for heart patients with psychological difficulties.

Our aim

We fund two cardiac psychologists at the Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock. They provide therapy to patients with a range of psychological difficulties commonly seen in patients with heart problems. These difficulties can include depression, stress and emotional acceptance.

This therapy will include:

  • helping patients manage emotional difficulties related to their heart problems
  • preparing patients for life-saving cardiac surgery  
  • helping patients overcome problems with memory and concentration.
  • provide education and support to hospital staff to improve the psychological care of patients with learning disabilities or mental illness while using hospital heart services.

Success so far

The service was great in helping me to deal with the heart attack on a day to day basis. They helped me to turn negative thoughts into positive ones TJ McCandliss (pictured above with Dr. Sharp) from Kilmarnock suffered a heart attack at the exceptionally young age of 23.

I'd really recommend this service to every single person who has gone through what I’ve gone through.

TJ McCandliss
Heart patient

TJ, now an aircraft mechanic at Prestwick Airport, says: “My physiotherapist realised the heart attack was taking a bigger toll on me emotionally than I was letting on. She introduced me to Dr. Sharp and I saw him once every two weeks and in total four or five times. It was great because, while you can talk to your family, sometimes you do keep things inside. I didn’t want to add to their stress or worry them."

 For more information about our Hearty Lives programme, please contact Area Development Manager Richard Forsyth on [email protected]