Redditch Hale and Hearties Heart  Support Group

Latest News   Page last updated 2nd September 2021

Message from the H&H committee:


Unfortunately we have had to put the restart dates for the exercise classes back by a couple of weeks. We now expect the restart dates to be, The 1st of September for Wednesday classes and the 3rd of September for the Friday classes. This will of course be dependent on Govt guidelines at the time.  

Members will receive an email from the committee with full details on the above.  

The committee will be sending a separate email with a link to a survey regarding how you feel about returning to class and what structure they will take.




New Heart disease investigation methodology:


Looks like investigative Angiograms may become a thing of the past with the development of the 'Heartflow' system from a company based in California in the USA. ​

'HeartFlow' was launched last month in the UK and is part of an NHS plan to cut the number of heart attacks and strokes by 150,000.​

Instead of intervention surgery (an Angiogram), a CT Scan of the heart is taken and the resulting outputs are sent to a lab to be analysed by special software which builds up a 3-D image of the heart including the diameter of the arteries. CT heart scans have been available for some time but 'Heartflow' creates a very detailed 3-D image from the CT scan data to provide a usable image from which a diagnosis can be made.

This of course cannot replace emergency Angiograms where the patient needs swift intervention to provide relief from blocked arteries and possible Heart Attack.


They will be used primarily to identify possible Coronary Heart Disease in either, at risk patients or those with less urgent symptoms.​

Statistics  from 'Heartflow' use over the last few years has shown that out of every 5 patients, 3 have no need of treatment, 1 needs medication (possibly statins to lower Cholesterol) and only 1 will need some type of intervention procedure. ​

The benefits of this to the patients and the NHS is enormous in that diagnosis and treatment regimes are made much more quickly, there is no requirement for surgery and,  no hospitalisation, no theatre (lab) time (which can now be dedicated to more serious cases), There is no risk of Stroke/Heart Attack or infection due to the invasive nature of Angiograms themselves. There are also large savings in costs for the NHS.​

Most large hospitals should eventually be able to offer the 'Heartflow' as the initial technology, CT Scan is already in place.​

'Heartflow' is approved by NICE but probably has a some way to go before it can match the 'Gold standard' of an invasive Angiogram.

As far as I can tell Wolverhampton is the closest hospital to the Redditch/Bromsgrove area offering 'Heartflow' diagnosis.

Find out more here  - NHS England to introduce 3D heart scans for quicker diagnosis of CAD | Univadis


Cardiomyopathy fund raising - Captain Tom Challenge  - click link below to view


Introducing the Captain Tom 100 Challenge (


Hello all Hale & Hearties


You may recall in the email we sent out in February we mentioned a BHF fund-raising ‘Heart of Steel’ initiative.  We are delighted to say that, at the request of some Members, H&H have added 2 names – Brian Wattison and Bob Bradley.


For those of you who might not know, Brian Wattison was once the Chairman of Redditch Hale & Hearties.  Following his heart attack in 1998, Brian attended cardiac rehabilitation at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and after that he joined the fledgling Hale and Hearties Cardiac Rehabilitation Group in Redditch.  At that time, the Group was very small and struggling for its survival. Brian quickly became a very active member and, in 2002, became its Chairman.  The Group was never the same from then on.


Brian worked tirelessly and under his leadership, he and the Committee turned Hale and Hearties into one of the strongest heart support Groups in the country, now exercising more than 100 people per week at 5 classes in 3 different locations.  If you attend the Annual Dinner you will understand why it is called the Brian Wattison Memorial Dinner.


Robert (Bob) Bradley was treasurer for many years. Many of you will know Bob from the Group Meetings where, along with his wife Carol, they dispensed generous amount of Sherry or Wine at the various meetings.  At the AGM he always gave a concise and easily understood account of the finances.  He attended both classes at Oakenshaw on a Friday afternoon.  We miss him on the Committee as he always grounded us in how the finances were situated.


We checked with their respective wives first (Pat and Carol) and they were more than delighted for us to do this.  The names are added twice a year to the ‘Heart of Steel’ and we will keep you updated when this happens.


On a heart related matter – do any of you suffer from Atrial Fibrillation (AF).  If you do, would you mind completing a short survey for the AF Association – there are only 8 questions. The survey is completely anonymous and is to do with technology to monitor AF.  Even if you don’t use any technology it would be helpful for them to know why.  The link is


Having had the recent announcement regarding the easing of Lockdown we have put our mind to when, and how, we restart classes.  Whilst the Government have given some possible dates, our thinking at present is the earliest date H&H will be back is the end of June (and sadly that's not a certainty).  There are too many if’s and but’s at the moment to be more precise.  Even our venues are not sure what their criteria will be for issues such as social distancing, cleaning etc.  Who would have thought that it’s a year since our last meeting!


Needless to say, the April and June Group Meetings are cancelled.  We have our fingers crossed that the Group Meetings on 11th August, 13th October and 8th December will go ahead.


Finally, we would like to wish you all a Happy Easter.  We certainly need something to cheer us and perhaps an Easter Egg and a bit of sunshine might help.


Take care all and stay safe

Kindest regards

H&H Committee


As part of our continuing support for the Alexandra hospital, Redditch Hale and Hearties has bought a new Microwave for CCU nursing staff


Message from Linda Barratt.

Hello to all,

Thank you so much for the lovely words on the website about

my semi-retirement!  We all have had an interesting fun journey

and so many friendships have developed since Hale and Hearties

and Cardiac rehab started in 1996. My new path gives me some

time to play, garden and develop my many other holistic healing

interests and hobbies. I am back on it 3 days a week and

available to support the group with advice and keep you updated!

Let’s maintain hope and positivity in looking forward so we can

all get together again soon, until then.

Keep safe 🙏


Ps Thank you so much from CCU at the Alex for the very fast

delivery of the Microwave it really is an essential item that

supports the Doctors  nurses and patients.Especially in these

times, making it difficult to leave our work area for meals. Xx




Linda Barratt

After a 42 year nursing career Linda is semi-retiring from the Cardiac Rehab unit on Thursday 28th January.


As you know Linda has been involved with 'Redditch Hale and Hearties Heart Support Group' since its inception in September 1997. She has always made herself available to our members, and in a way became our very own consultant. 

Linda has always promoted the group to those who have had recent heart issues and indeed most of the new exercise class members come via the rehab classes held by Linda and Jane at the Alex and POW hospitals.

Members will recall the many presentations she has done at the club meetings regarding drugs, prescriptions, new developments in heart treatments etc.

 Linda always manages to keep us on our toes at the meetings. The enjoyable mindfulness exercises she introduced at one meeting spring to mind as being something quite new to a lot of those attending. 

We wish her well in her retirement and, at the same time, are absolutely delighted that, for the time being, she has agreed to work 3 days a week.

Certainly can't keep a good woman down. 


All the best for whatever the future brings from all at Redditch Hale & Hearties.


This article may be worth a read.

Covid: How a £20 gadget could save lives - BBC News

It's about a device called a 'Pulse Oximeter', (about £20 on Amazon) which measures oxygen in the blood.

Linda retirement1.jpg
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This is a link to see the ESC video

A Video message from our exercise trainers:

5th January 2021

Apparently when you get the call for your co-vid 19 vaccination they ask for your NHS number - This is on your medicines prescription so if possible keep a copy to hand.  


Hello Hale & Hearties Members


Firstly we would like to wish you all a happy and safe New Year.


It will come as no surprise to you all that following last night's announcement regarding Lockdown we have put all thoughts regarding classes on hold.  In fact we do not see any classes restarting for the foreseeable future.  Our plan is to review the situation around the end of March/early April.  If the infection rate has reduced considerably and the vaccination programme has reached our Members then we will probably run a small survey to see who would like to attend.  Once we have that data then we can work out the best course of action.


Don't forget you can check out the web startpage.

Al West kindly keeps this up to date with current information and we will definitely email again when we have more news.


We are sure that, like you, this was not how we wanted to start 2021.  So, please stay safe as we look forward to seeing you all some time in 2021.


Warm regards

H&H Committee