A new home-based rehabilitation programme could help thousands of heart failure patients to achieve a better quality of life, research carried out in collaboration with the University of Birmingham has found.

Professor Colin Greaves of the University of Birmingham's School of Sport, Exercise and  Rehabilitation Sciences who led the design team that developed the REACH-HF intervention, said: “The results of this study come at a very interesting time, when rehabilitation services are feeling stretched all around the UK.

“More resources are needed to expand cardiac rehabilitation services to allow access for all people with heart failure as well as all the other patients currently receiving cardiac rehabilitation.

“Recent estimates suggest that the UK needs an additional 210,000 cardiac rehab places each year to treat everyone who is eligible.

“We know these treatments are effective and can have a huge impact on peoples’ lives following heart attacks or the diagnosis of heart failure

“The results of this study provide compelling evidence that a home-based programme of exercise and self-care support for people with heart failure and their caregivers should now be rolled out as part of national NHS policy.”