Welcome to the Hearts & Minds Website

Just to let you know what we are all about and what we do to help Cardiac Patients and their Careers

Objectives and Overview Click Here

Registered charity in England No 1144451

Affiliated to the British Heart Foundation

Meetings held at the Laindon Center Click for map

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A voluntary self-funding group of heart patients and their careers that help patients and careers face the future

Next Meeting Monday 15th February 2016

Buddy System

We are very keen to establish a “buddy” network as part of the group’s continuing desire to provide practical support to patients and families who have experienced a cardiac event. We are seeking volunteers from within the group to offer their time to speak to patients who are recently discharged from hospital or about to go in to have a procedure or a carer who has a full list of worries and concerns for the wellbeing of their partner.  This opportunity to speak with someone who has gone through what you are about to can prove to be invaluable. We believe that everybody will benefit from speaking to somebody who has “been there, done that and bought the T Shirt” (you can actually buy the T Shirt from us!). This will not be a case of having people ringing you at all times of the day. The patients will be closely matched so that their condition matches your own and they will be told a time to call that is convenient for you. Please cast your mind back to your own event and consider how useful it would have been to have the opportunity to speak with someone.

February 15thWe are looking forward to Noel Watson from CTC coming in to speak to us about the SSEP equipment. After all the efforts put in to fundraising activities this year, we now have adequate funds to purchase the equipment and this should be completed very soon. It will be great to hear more about the ground breaking equipment and how it will be put to use.


Are you doing enough ? Click link below from the BHF

Lack of exercise may lead to twice as many deaths as obesity, study claims

Welcome to five new members


In the spirit of travel, exploration and adventure, please welcome


Ranulph, Philleas, Walter, Scott and Marco to the group.

As part of our aim to inspire people we want to get the message across that there are opportunities to live a fulfilled life after a cardiac event. An element of life that is important to many people is the ability to take a holiday. We already know that many of our members regularly manage to get away to various locations within the UK, Europe and further abroad. We need to let current patients know that, in most cases, travel is still an option. To enforce this we have purchased five travel teddies for members to take away on their travels. There are three criteria for taking one off the teddies away with you:

1. The teddy must come back in good condition,

2. You need to supply a picture to be put up in Rehab,

3.  Copy to david.march.sky.com for the website,

February 5th – “it hardly seems possible that we are planning the Wear it, Beat it British Heart Foundation campaign 2016.  This event takes place on Friday 5th February and we would love it if you can come along to Basildon hospital and support us on the day.  Each year this event goes from strength to strength, and it is our way of promoting the life- saving research funded by the BHF, to promote heart health and to promote Hearts & Minds.  We are planning to have 3 stands this year covering the CTC, main hospital reception and outpatients.   John kingsgate has kindly agreed to co-ordinate the day and we are looking for volunteers.  It could not be simpler, a smiling face and a willingness to chat is all that is required.  We aim to man the stands from 9-4, and if you can give up 2 hours that is great, we need at least 2 people on each stand. Car parking is free (although we cannot guarantee a space), we will supply refreshments.  


If you are interested let the cardiac rehabilitation team know on 01268 394076, please leave your name, contact number and when you are available.  If you are not able to come along on the day why not do your own thing - look on the bhf website, www.bhf.org.uk, or call 0300 330 3322 for inspiration or to order a wear it beat it fundraising pack it could not be simpler.


Updated heart conditions treatment booklets

BHF have updated four of their popular booklets in the Heart Information Series about different heart conditions and treatments, including

blood pressure - peripheral arterial disease

 atrial fibrillation - heart transplant  

Click on the above links to download these booklets

Each booklet includes patient case studies and they offer a valuable source of information and support to patients and their families.

2016 Project

  From the Hospital  

November 16th – We were joined by Steve Hartman, again, who updated us on his story and how he is progressing with bringing sign language into the hospital to allow staff to communicate more effectively with deaf patients. Steve was keen to teach some sign language to the group and we eventually mastered “Silent Night”. After a few practice runs we filmed the performance and it can be seen on You Tube by clicking links below

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaFnuaSBYVw

click on this link to watch here on our site

“Heart attack survival rates at Essex Cardiothoracic Centre among best in Britain.

Emergency patients taken to The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC) after a heart attack have one of the highest chances in the country of making a good recovery.

About 30,000 people in Britain have a cardiac outside hospital every year and their chances of making it alive to an emergency department are around 50/50. If they do, their chances of making a full recovery without damage to the brain or other organs will depend on the quality of treatment they receive.

Dr John Davies, cardiology consultant at the specialist heart centre, explains: “Data at the CTC shows a particularly high survival rate, given the severity the patients’ conditions. We think this is due to teamwork, rapid treatment and management of the heart disease and the effects that cardiac arrest has on other organs. We believe that this can only be provided at centres like ours where the facilities and expertise are available round the clock, every day of the year.”

Noel Watson, divisional head of nursing and quality (interim), at the CTC recently organised a study day to share knowledge with other cardiac clinical staff from hospitals in London and East Anglia. In one of the presentations, Dr Davies told delegates that 20 years ago he could never have imagined the improvements that would be made in the treatment of hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA).

He said: “Such progress is a shining example of teamwork – what we refer to as the ‘chain of survival’ for patients. The first link in the chain may be a bystander who knows how to administer chest compressions and rescue breaths (CPR) until another ‘link’ arrives - the paramedic team.

“In hospital, the patient will then be treated by doctors, nurses and therapists from nearly 20 different disciplines, including cardiology, radiography, neurology, renal, intensive care, physiotherapy, cardiac rehab, to name a few. Along with these clinical specialists, follow-up care from The CTC’s psychological support service, patient’s GP and their family, are all essential elements of the chain of survival.”

Emergency patients treated at the Essex CTC also benefit from the latest techniques and equipment, including state-of-the-art cath labs where imaging, tests and cardiology procedures are carried out. And the specialist centre is one of only two in Britain to offer a treatment called therapeutic hypothermia (TH), where the patient is rapidly cooled before the artery is opened by cardiologists

 Dr Thomas Keeble, interventional cardiology specialist registrar, explains: “Clinical trials show that if the patient is cooled after a heart attack, there is a significant reduction in the physical or neurological (brain) damage caused to them. “When an artery is blocked the surrounding heart muscle dies. When we open up the artery, the muscle that has died is further damaged by the rapid reflow of blood – about half the injury to the heart following a cardiac arrest is caused by this.

 “By cooling the patient before we open the artery, we can significantly reduce this damage. It’s essential to do this quickly – we begin TH on the patient immediately on their arrival and in most cases, get their body temperature down to the target 33 degrees while they are still in cath lab.”