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Heart Disease

Community Coronary Heart Disease and Heart Failure Service

The Coronary Heart Disease and Heart Failure Service (CHD/HF) is provided across County Durham and Darlington providing community services for patients following heart attack (myocardial infarction), emergency and elective heart bypass surgery and heart stent implants (coronary revascularisation) or for patients with a confirmed diagnosis of heart failure

  What is Coronary Heart Disease?

This is a disease process causing 'furring up' or narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. It can lead to conditions such as angina (chest pains) or heart attack. It can't be cured, but the symptoms can often be controlled for many years.

What is Heart Failure?

This is a condition where the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently enough to supply the demands of the body. It usually occurs because the heart has become too weak or stiff. Heart failure doesn't mean your heart has stopped working; it just needs some support to help it work better. It can occur at any age, but is most common in older people. Heart failure is a long-term condition that tends to get gradually worse over time. It can't always be cured, but the symptoms can often be controlled for many years.

How the service works

  •   Patients referred into the service are contacted within 48 hours following receipt of the referral and offered a home visit within 5 working days following discharge from hospital / referral from clinic.
  • Referrals into the service are from tertiary hospitals (such as Freeman Hospitals or James Cook Hospital) and district general hospitals following either an admission or following a clinic appointment.
  • GPs can refer patients who have had previous heart problems back into the service.
  • The purpose of the home visit is to clinically assess the patient, review symptoms, optimise medication and provide information, education and support.
  • Coronary Heart Disease & Heart Failure specialist nurses run clinics which involve a review of the patients' condition and symptoms. An important part of these clinics is to optimise medication as needed to improve symptoms and for better long term control of the patients' condition. They are held across the county in a variety of venues e.g. community hospitals
  • Heart Failure Specialist Nurses provide a heart failure in reach service at both hospital trust sites (University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital) which means we can identify patients with the condition sooner and commence treatments.


  • Cardiac (heart) rehabilitation programmes for patients are offered at community venues across the county with the flexibility of both daytime and evening programmes. Each programme has 16 sessions and includes individualised structured exercise, education and a relaxation session,
  • Heart failure rehabilitation programmes are provided at venues (mainly hospices) across the county. These programmes are for patients with a confirmed diagnosis of heart failure
  • Patients are asked to complete an evaluation following completion of the cardiac/heart failure rehabilitation programme.


CHD and Heart Failure Leads

Caroline Levie (South Durham) 01325 743524/07917166087

Aidan MacDermott (North Durham) 07818521365

Generic CHD and Heart failure team contact details:

Durham/Derwentside 01207 523608 / 523426

Easington 0191 5692940

Durham Dales + Sedgefield 01388 455061

Darlington 01325 342180

'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital