A heart disease support group said it is “horrified and saddened” after a Daventry hospital lost a rehab service and has been told it will not treat urgent cardiac patients in future.
The Young at Heart group, for people with coronary heart disease, said Danetre hospital has lost its cardiac rehabilitation service, and its patients will also have to travel to Kettering or Northampton.
The British heart Foundation recommends that when people leave hospital after a heart attack they should be referred to a cardiac rehab service for specialist advice and physical activity.
John Evans of Young at Heart, said: “A properly structured rehab programme can reduce the risk of dying of a heart attack and help improve some of the risk factors of coronary heart disease.
“Patients like me can tell you having a local service was of great benefit. If the service is not local imagine the stress and difficulty of possibly having to travel to and from Kettering on at least one night a week for the duration of the programme.
“Reversing the decisions already made will be extremely difficult, but we feel strongly that the people of Daventry district should be made aware of what has happened to their local health services. After all it could be a matter of life and death.”
The NHS trusts that provide and pay for Northamptonshire health care said today they were still looking into which body made the decision.
The confusion is owed to the fact many community health services were transferred to another trust when new organisations were created and others closed in April’s NHS shake-up.