Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the United Kingdom.1 It is also a leading contributor to health inequalities; reducing excess deaths from coronary heart disease in the most deprived fifth of areas would have the greatest impact on the life expectancy gap in England.2 Cardiovascular rehabilitation (CR) is a multifaceted secondary prevention programme which aims to improve outcomes for people with CVD, with strong evidence of clinical and cost-effectiveness,3 and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).4,5 The evidence-based service standards for delivery6,7 include centre or home-based options (equally effective8), by a multidisciplinary team supported by community services (such as smoking cessation). The British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (BACPR) recommends that a CR programme should be based on seven components which have health behaviour change and education at their core (Figure 1). Quality assurance of CR delivery is monitored, assessed and findings published, annually, by the British Heart Foundation–funded National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation (NACR) based at the University of York. The NACR collects both programme and patient-level data from a majority of CR programmes across most of the United Kingdom (with the exception of Scotland). To ensure data security and quality, NACR data are hosted by NHS Digital.
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Furze, G., Nichols, S., Doherty, P., Hinton, S., Iliff, A., & Mills, J. (2016). National Certification Programme for Cardiovascular Rehabilitation – aiming to improve practice. Perspectives in Public Health, 136(6), 318-320. https://doi.org/10.1177/1757913916668291