Physiotherapy: Cardiac

This team are specialist in providing assessment and treatment to outpatients who have difficulty due to heart problems or due to dysfunctional breathing patterns (also known as hyperventilation and over breathing).

The Cardiac Team is part of the Physiotherapy Department.

The City Hospitals Sunderland Cardiac Rehabilitation Physiotherapists provide assessment and treatment to patients who have difficultly due to heart problems or due to dysfunctional breathing patterns.

Heart Problems

The team works as part of a team which includes Consultant Cardiologists, Cardiac Specialist Nurses, Clinical Psychologists and Exercise Professionals to offer lifestyle advice, exercise advice and emotional support to patients following a heart event.

Following discharge from hospital all patients follow are offered an individual assessment and are provided with a choice of treatment options.

The Cardiac Physiotherapy Team provides person centred advice.

The team works in partnership with all services involved in your care to enhance your role within your family, social environment and workplace. Physiotherapists work with you and your family to improve the quality of your life and reduce your risk of further heart disease and encourage you to reach your optimal functional ability.

Cardiac Rehabilitation is offered to you if you have had:

  • A heart attack
  • A coronary angioplasty
  • Heart surgery
  • A pacemaker and or ICD inserted
  • Angina
  • Cardiomyopathy

Cardiac Rehabilitation offers:

  • Lifestyle advice
  • Education talks for you and your family
  • Exercise programme an individual advice
  • Emotional support and referral to psychologist if required
  • Advice on returning to work
  • Advice on returning to hobbies
  • Fitness Conditioning
  • Pain Management
  • Supporting change to a healthier lifestyle
Following the completion of our programme we are able to refer to long term supervised exercise programmes Sunderland Cardiac Support Group and Move to Improve Programme.

Dysfunctional Breathing Patterns

All patients with breathing pattern disorders, also known as over-breathing or hyperventilation will be individually assessed. Following assessment we will agree a treatment plan, we will teach relaxation techniques and if required we can refer to other services for stress management.

To change/cancel a first appointment or a follow up appointment: 0191 5699027

The office is open:

  • Monday to Thursday – 7.30 am to 7 pm
  • Friday – 7.30 am to 6 pm
  • Saturday – 8 am to 1 pm

Change a follow up appointment online

Physiotherapy Reception: General queries: 0191 5699028

Core Hours: Monday – Friday:08.00 – 16.30

Key Contacts

Divisional General Manager: Jackie Butterworth

Directorate Manager: Mandy Bates

Clinical Director: Mary Spearman

Head of Service: Jill Graham

Physiotherapy Clinical Team Lead: Nina Lishman

Highly Specialist Physiotherapist: Sara Hine

Sunderland Royal Hospital site map and entrances

The Cardiac Physiotherapy team works with you after you have been discharged from hospital in the outpatient department and in various community settings.

Physiotherapy Department Sunderland Royal Hospital

All patients and family members are offered an initial individual assessment, lifestyle advice and an exercise programme is developed and agreed with you in the physiotherapy department.

Supervised Cardiac Rehabilitation Programmes

We run group exercise and information sessions twice a week for six weeks in three leisure Centres across Sunderland and Washington

  • Sunderland Aquatic Centre
  • Silksworth tennis and community leisure Centre
  • Washington leisure Centre

Home based Therapy

If you are housebound we can offer an assessment in your home and we can agree on a home exercise programme that you can do on your own. You will be reviewed at regular intervals and may be able to join one of the supervised programmes at a later stage in your recovery.

You are able to access physiotherapy with a referral from a Consultant cardiologist, Specialist Nurse or a GP.

Your first appointment is an assessment by a qualified physiotherapist. We will discuss how your symptoms are affecting your function and we will start to put together a treatment plan. This appointment will take 60 minutes; follow up appointments will be 30 minutes.

Please bring with you:

  • List of current medication.
  • Medication and refreshments you need in case of an unforeseen delay.
  • GTN spray if you have one.
  • Some patients find it useful to write a few questions in advance of the appointment.
  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing and supportive footwear.

Assessment and follow up

We also offer relaxation techniques for you to be able to carry out at home and advice on exercise and improving your fitness levels.

We welcome your feedback and suggestions. We believe that your feedback can add value to the care that you are given.

Please click on the link below to go to further information relating to how you can leave feedback on your care:

Patient comments

“A thoroughly professional and friendly team.Have helped me through a difficult situation and given me some hope for the future.”

“Well worth the going on the cardiac rehabilitation programme.They cover everything and makes you feel a lot better.So there is life after a heart attack.”

“Overall the experience was excellent.The staff shared their vast knowledge without ever talking down to the members, they made it very enjoyable with their individual personalities creating an aura of "well being" on every session.They made it fun getting better and fitter.”

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