Information for the public
Secondary prevention after a myocardial infarction
The quality standard for secondary prevention after a myocardial infarction (heart attack) is made up of 5 statements that describe high‑quality care for adults who have had a heart attack. These statements set out the quality of care you should receive.
1. Adults who are admitted to hospital with a heart attack have a scan to see how well the blood is being pumped through their heart. This helps with decisions about the type and dose of drug treatment and the recovery programme that is appropriate for them. The scan should be done before a person leaves hospital.
2. Adults who are admitted to hospital with a heart attack are referred to a cardiac rehabilitation programme while they are in hospital. A cardiac rehabilitation programme includes exercise sessions, information about health and lifestyle changes and how to cope with stress. This helps to slow down or stop heart disease and to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke in the future.
3. Adults who are admitted to hospital with a heart attack have a letter sent to their GP, which includes the results of any tests and a plan for treatment and monitoring in the future. This helps to make sure that people get the right treatment after they leave hospital and start a programme to improve their long‑term health (cardiac rehabilitation) as soon as possible.
4. Adults referred to a cardiac rehabilitation programme after a heart attack have an appointment for an assessment within 10 days of leaving hospital. Starting cardiac rehabilitation as soon as possible encourages people to take part in the programme and makes it more likely that they will carry on.
5. Adults referred to a cardiac rehabilitation programme can choose a programme in the daytime or outside working hours, at a hospital, in the local area or at home. Having a choice of time and place means that they are more likely to be able to take part in a programme.