Case study from Heart failure policy and practice in Europe

Home-based cardiac rehabilitation for heart failure, England

17 November, 2020

The Rehabilitation Enablement in Chronic Heart Failure (REACH-HF) intervention is a home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme that was developed with input from healthcare professionals, people living with heart failure and carers.1 It includes:

  • a manual with chair-based and walking exercises to be performed at least three times per week
  • an interactive booklet to help people living with heart failure track their progress based on symptoms, physical activity and self-care behaviour
  • a manual for carers to support their own wellbeing and improve understanding of heart failure
  • telephone and in-person support from trained cardiac nurses and physiotherapists.2

Compared with standard heart failure care, the REACH-HF programme improved quality of life and self-care behaviour.2 As it was also shown to be cost-effective,2 3 in May 2019 it was rolled out across four NHS sites in England and Northern Ireland.4 The effectiveness of the programme has led to expert calls for rapid adoption across the UK.5 The programme was also identified as a potential method to adapt cardiac rehabilitation services during the COVID-19 pandemic.6


  1. Greaves CJ, Wingham J, Deighan C, et al. 2016. Optimising self-care support for people with heart failure and their caregivers: development of the Rehabilitation Enablement in Chronic Heart Failure (REACH-HF) intervention using intervention mapping. Pilot and Feasibility Studies 2(1): 37
  2. Dalal HM, Taylor RS, Jolly K, et al. 2019. The effects and costs of home-based rehabilitation for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction: The REACH-HF multicentre randomized controlled trial. Eur J Prev Cardiol 26(3): 262-72
  3. Taylor RS, Sadler S, Dalal HM, et al. 2019. The cost effectiveness of REACH-HF and home-based cardiac rehabilitation compared with the usual medical care for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction: A decision model-based analysis. European journal of preventive cardiology 26(12): 1252-61
  4. van Beurden S. 2019. Succesful home-based heart rehabiliation programme rolled out. Available from: [Accessed 13/08/20]
  5. Dalal HM, Taylor RS, Doherty PJ. 2019. Home-based rehabilitation for heart failure: we need to act now. European journal of preventive cardiology: 10.1177/2047487319836515:
  6. Alliance for Heart Failure. 2020. Written evidence submitted by the Alliance for Heart Failure (DEL0262). United Kingdom: Alliance for Heart Failure


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