Cardiac rehab service backs efforts to raise £500,000 for new centre at West Suffolk Hospital


They are an essential part of the cardiac department at the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.

And now the cardiac rehabilitation service is backing plans to raise £500,000 to build a brand new cardiac centre at the hospital, which is being spearheaded by the My WiSH Charity’s Every Heart Matters appeal.

The department, which helps patients to get back to as full life as possible after a cardiac event, also aims to help promote health and keep people well after they leave hospital. The team is made up of seven staff and three volunteers.

They are Melanie Amps, lead cardiac rehabilitation nurse specialist; Kate Turner, Jane Bridges, cardiac rehabilitation nurse specialists, Tracy Wallace and Anne Graham, cardiac rehabilitation nurses; Zoe Noble, senior cardiac rehabilitation physiotherapist: Karen Wheeler, administrator; and volunteers Michelle Lavender, Helen Benckendorff and Charlie McDowell.

Melanie who is also an accredited cognitive behavioural therapist currently undertaking a post graduate diploma in clinical hypnotherapy said: “Patients that have had a cardiac event are referred to our service and are offered a programme of exercise and education that is tailored to suit their individual needs. We also offer lifestyle advice and generally help people recover to improve overall wellbeing after they have had a cardiac event.”

“Cardiac patients can access a course of psychological therapy as part of their rehabilitation and I can also offer clinical hypnotherapy which can help with a wide range of problems, including needle phobias, insomnia and anxiety disorders”

They provide Cardiac Education Exhibitions at the education centre at the hospital every eight weeks, and outreach services are provided at the Newmarket Hospital, St Christopher School in Red Lodge and Sudbury Community Health Centre by the community team.

“And for patients to be able to have their investigations and treatment carried out in the one place rather than being disjointed, as we are currently, is really important and would streamline the whole service. It is essential we are all together,” added Melanie.

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2m in developing a state of the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 My WiSH Charity is hoping to raise will lead to the whole unit, which is currently fragmented on different floors, being brought together in one purpose-built centre.

If you want to support the Every Heart Matters appeal go to the website

If you would like to donate to the appeal you can do so by going to or text EHMA17 £10 to 70070.

Pictured above, left to right, are four members of the cardiac rehabilitation team, Zoe Noble, senior cardiac rehabilitation physiotherapist; Kate Turner, cardiac rehabilitation nurse specialist; Melanie Amps, lead cardiac rehabilitation nurse specialist and cognitive behavioural therapist; and Jane Bridges, cardiac rehabilitation nurse specialist.

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