Coronary Heart Disease

People often say that their heart condition affects them mentally, emotionally or psychologically. Anxiety and depression are common experiences following diagnosis of a heart condition. The most common fears include having a heart attack or stroke. These emotional responses can have a significant negative impact on your daily activities and enjoyment of life.

Finding support

It can be really helpful to talk with someone about your worries. You are not alone; this reaction is both normal and understandable. You can regain your confidence and take back control of your life. The British Heart Foundation has further information on emotional matters here: https://www.bhf.org.uk/emotional

The Cardiac Rehabilitation teams are also trained to help with the normal range of emotional distress associated with your cardiac diagnosis. The teams will use a general screening tool to assess your psychological health and may recommend that you are referred to our team for further support.

Improved management of stress and depression can help promote future changes to your physical and emotional health. This in turn can help to improve your cardiovascular risk profile and lower your risk of further cardiac events.

CPFT's Psychological Wellbeing Service works alongside and collaborating with GPs, hospitals, cardiac specialist nurses and consultants. We will help you recognise if you are experiencing anxiety or depression and how this might affect your health and management of your condition. Together, we will be able to talk about the range of therapy options that would be most helpful and suitable for you.

Who is the service for?

The service is for people aged over 17 years who are normally resident in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Wansford or Oundle or who are registered with a GP in one of these areas. We do not have an upper age limit.

What else do we offer?

  • Interpretation services where required
  • Signposting to counselling, partner agencies and other services to support other needs such as return to employment
  • Face-to-face, telephone and online options

You will be able to talk about the range of options at your initial assessment and about what would be most suitable for your needs.

How long are the sessions?

Sessions can vary from around 35 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the type of treatment offered. The total number of sessions depends on patients’ needs, but we are a short-term therapy service.

How much does it cost?

As an NHS service, the treatments that we offer are free of charge.

Where will we see you?

Therapists with the Psychological Wellbeing Service (IAPT) work in consultation rooms, GP surgeries, hospitals and community settings throughout the county.

What treatment will I receive?

The treatment that you will receive will be determined by your individual needs at the time of treatment. It will not be specified or chosen by external clinicians or agencies.

Waiting time

Please expect there to be a waiting time between your referral and receiving treatment. The waiting time will depend on location, the treatment recommended and current demand for the service. You can ask at your assessment for our best estimate of waiting times.

Is the service for everyone?

We try to be as inclusive as we can, but psychological therapy is not for everyone. Wanting to change is important. Our service may not be right for you if :

  • You have a history with mental health teams and a psychiatric diagnosis, such as serious mental illness or personality disorder.
  • You have a history of self harm or suicide attempts.
  • You have a history of abuse and if this issomething that you particularly want to focus on in therapy.

In the above cases, we would recommend a discussion with your GP who will be able to support your referral and look at the best options for you.

How do I access therapy from the service?

You may wish to discuss your difficulties with your GP or a member of the Cardiac Rehabilitation team who may refer you to the service. You may also refer yourself directly.

How can I refer myself?

We recommend referral in the first instance via our web page here: https://www.cpft.nhs.uk/psychological-wellbeing-service

Alternatively, call our self-referral team on 0300 300 0055 and they will guide you through the process. Let them know that you have a cardiac diagnosis. The line is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Emergency contact details

If you feel you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need access to immediate help, please call our First Response Service on 111 and select option 2. Other crisis numbers are available on our website here: https://www.cpft.nhs.uk/helpinacrisis

As a patient

As a patient, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Patient Advice and Liaison service  Contact the Trust