A NEW app is boosting the recovery of cardiac patients at Airedale Hospital.

The groundbreaking feature provides an extensive programme of exercise and education for people who have undergone heart surgery, and offers a digital option for rehabilitation.

Patients can also record and share their blood pressure readings and log their usual medications, and receive advice to help manage risk factors.

Nicola Drake, a cardiac rehabilitation nurse with Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, says: "A massive part of what we do as a cardiac rehabilitation team is about improving confidence, because it rocks people’s world when they have had a heart attack – for them and their families.

"We might work with our cardiac patients for anything between two months and a year, but we’re trying to give them the confidence and empowerment to live their lives knowing how to manage their own heart health.

"The app is an addition to what we offer patients. It adds flexibility to our service, as patients can use a combination of face-to-face support and the cardiac rehab programme on the app. There are educational videos and options for patients to record information if they wish, such as appointments, medications, blood pressure readings and their weight.

"Coronary heart disease is a long-term condition, and the great thing about the app is that the patient can keep it for life. Hopefully once they’re discharged from our service, they can have the information and motivation to maintain healthy lifestyle changes that they've developed."

Cardiac nurses provide recovery support to patients who have had heart attacks or surgery.

They help with psychological aspects, medication and symptom control, and offer healthy lifestyle advice and face-to-face or virtual exercise classes, tailored to individuals.

Nicola adds: "The app is a new way for the nursing team to support patients. It’s easy to use and gives people a comprehensive programme of exercise and education, whilst also offering a digital option for their cardiac rehabilitation, at a time and place to suit them.

"Patients have access to the app for a lifetime, whenever and wherever they want, and so it’s ideal for those who can’t commit to weekly sessions or who struggle to travel to the hospital or their classes – they can engage using their smart phone/device from wherever they are."

For more about the app, call 01535 294557 or visit the cardiac rehab specialist nurses page on the trust website, airedale-trust.nhs.uk.