It is no secret that we have one of the largest and fastest growing ageing populations in all of NSW. This means that cardiac health within the Northern Sydney community is top of mind for our hospitals and healthcare workers. 4 in 5 people over the aged of 55 are hospitalised due to cardiovascular disease complications*. This confronting statistic is one of the reasons we run specialised services that educate and provide older members of our community with the tools for living a healthier lifestyle with the hopes of improving the health of hearts in our community.
The MACARF (Management of Cardiac Function) Program looks after patients diagnosed with heart failure in our community. The program aims to provide education around lifestyle changes and support heart health improvement for patients suffering from heart failure and related conditions.
The service connects hospitals, GPs and community services in Northern Sydney and provides a holistic approach to their continual care. To make access to this essential service easier, the team of passionate and professional Heart Failure Nurse Specialists see patients in both their home and in hospital.
More than 6000 patients have enrolled into the program since 1998. The program identifies patients at risk of readmissions within 12 months of their initial hospitalisation^ and provides clinical assessments, education, management action plans and exercise programs to empower patients to take back control of their heart health.
In addition to this program, all of our NSLHD hospitals provide Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs that include group-based physical rehabilitation and education programs led by an Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist and Cardiac Nurse. The Cardiac Lifestyle Education Program provides informative and motivating sessions covering an extensive range of heart health topics and practical guides. The program is available to patients with a diagnosed cardiac condition and all you need is a referral to participate.
These two programs are designed to help patients with heart conditions regain their health, as well as the confidence to live life to their fullest. To see if you’re eligible for these programs and for more information, please visit the official NSLHD Cardiac Rehab Services page here.
These programs are an essential part of how our hospitals and healthcare services provide education and outreach to help improve quality of life for members of our community. With our ageing
population on the rise we are beginning to see an increase in-demand for these services which is putting a strain on our current staff and resources. In addition to this, the restrictions put in place due to COVID-19 have meant that we have had to rethink how these programs can continue to run while still remaining safe in terms of social distancing and infection control. We are looking to better utilise technology to continue providing this important educational resource to the community but again need additional resources and support in order to do so.
If you would like to help ensure that we can continue to provide crucial cardiac educational and rehabilitation resources such as the MARCARF and Cardiac Rehabilitation Program to our community you can do so by visiting our how you can help page.
The NORTH Foundation is the official fundraising and engagement partner for the Northern Sydney Local Health District including Royal North Shore, Ryde and Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospitals as well as the Kolling Institute of Medical Research.
^ Wang N, Gallagher R, Sze D, Hales S, Tofler G. Predictors of Frequent Readmissions in Patients With Heart Failure. Heart Lung Circ. 2019 Feb;28(2):277-283. doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2017.10.024. Epub 2017 Nov 14. PMID: 29191505.