Action Heart Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme
The Cardiac Rehabilitation programme in Dudley has been in existence since 1978, and is one of the longest running in the United Kingdom. The programme gained charitable status (registered number 518586) and was renamed Action Heart in the late 1980's. It has developed as an independent organisation, and is now contracted to provide its services by Dudley Health Authority. The Action Heart Centre is now situated in Block C in Russells Hall Hospital. Now there are more than 700 patients being looked after at any one time, for up to 12 months, on a programme of exercise and lifestyle management.
Action Heart's clinical work is guided by its Medical Advisory Panel, and its commercial activities by the Board of Directors. The former includes Cardiologists from Dudley, and Russell Tipson (Action Heart Director) who is also the liaison with the other Directors. The professional staff includes Exercise Physiologists, nurses and a Physiotherapist, as well as an administrative support team, and a commercial fund raising team. There is also a group of people (patients, ex-patients and supporters) who act as an army of volunteer helpers.
The twenty years of experience and growth means that not only is the programme one of the largest in this country, but as part of the DHSS scheme to improve good practice, Action Heart was awarded Beacon Status in 2000. This has enabled the programme to continue its own development, and support the growing number of new rehabilitation programmes around the country.