Support for Our Community

Signing Up

By becoming a Friend, Supporter or Patron of Somerville Heart Foundation, you are helping us with our vision to create a society where those born with a heart condition receive the support and medical care they need to lead longer, happier and healthier lives.

When you join Somerville Heart Foundation, you will receive the same level of support across all tiers, Friend, Supporter and Patron.

It’s completely free to be a ‘Friend’. For those keen and able to support our work we have ‘Supporter’ and ‘Patron’ tiers. These will help build an annual income that makes our future more stable and means we can provide more support where needed.  Sign-Up here.

Dedicated Community Area

Our dedicated community area has lots of help and guidance for living with CHD, including information and leaflets on specific conditions, blogs and a resource section with lots of downloadable articles such as ‘Me, My heart and anxiety’, ‘Coping and living well’, ‘preparing for and coping with surgery’ and ‘Dealing with deterioration in health’. Lifestyle issues, Personal Healthcare Passport, A Guide to Adult Cardiac Care.

Specialist ACHD Hospitals

These Specialist ACHD Hospitals offer heart and cardiac services  across the UK. These hospitals are organised into geographical networks with a Level 1 hospital in effect at the top of each network structure, followed by a Level 2, Level 3 and outreach clinic.

According to the NHS, CHD patients require regular monitoring, and an adult with CHD might need a variety of treatment and medications including transcatheter intervention, cardiac surgery, invasive electrophysiology and pacing procedures, advanced heart failure management, palliative care and transplantation.

We publish our newsletter every quarter. It is packed full of articles and information about CHD, some written by those living with a heart condition who have had the courage to share their stories. The online version is emailed to our subscribers free of charge each quarter. If you would like to share your experiences, we’d love to hear from you!

Online ACHD Community

Private social media groups specifically for the CHD communitya great way to meet others with CHD and a place for confidential discussion and support and meeting others in similar situations who “just get it”. Proven to be one of the best ways of reducing isolation, improving mental health, and helping to establish coping mechanisms.

Our community is all those who are affected by or work in the realm of Adult Congenital Disease (ACHD). Those that have ACHD, their family and friends, the clinicians that care for them, and those that are involved in the provision of the care services.

According to the NHS, CHD patients require regular monitoring, and an adult with CHD might need a variety of treatment and medications including transcatheter intervention, cardiac surgery, invasive electrophysiology and pacing procedures, advanced heart failure management, palliative care and transplantation.

Access to Wellbeing Counsellor

Whether living with a CHD for a long time or just being diagnosed, we understand day to day living with CHD can be very distressing. Our Mental Health and Wellbeing Counsellor can offer some support.
Our Counsellor was born with a heart condition too and so understands some of the difficulties and anxieties around living with a heart condition.

Invitations to webinars and online events as well as our ‘physical’ ones:

Online/Virtual:

Our private social media groups offer Zoom sessions too, there have been crafting, ‘coffee and chat’, quizzes and wellbeing zoom sessions too. We are starting to run webinars to inform patients and allay their concerns during this difficult period. We are running webinars on lots of different subjects and topics that you have told us you want to know more about.
Take part in our challenges; our February Footsteps is an annual patient group challenge to encourage CHD patients to get out in the fresh air and walk, which is also good for mental health too whilst raising funds to support our work.

Physical:

Our annual patient event is a great way of finding out more about what is happening in the world of congenital cardiology, hear other patients stories, discuss with your peers the issues faced by others with  ACHD. The day includes ACHD specialist talks, Somerville Heart Foundation updates and topical discussions. Our annual patient conference costs in excess of £12,000, with many who book not turning up, so we do charge a fee to attend.

If you have ACHD (Congenital Heart Disease) and are on Warfarin (https://sfhearts.org.uk/warfarin/), you probably have your blood regularly monitored to check its INR. This often requires regular hospital visits. If your ACHD (Adult Congenital Heart Disease) team recommend you for self-testing so that you can test yourself at home, we may be able to help you to obtain a Coaguchek machine. Please see our information on Coaguchek machine facilitation or, if you have any questions, email michelle.woods@sfhearts.org.uk or call the office on 01473 252007.

Though we are unable to provide ongoing financial support, we do have a Support Fund that can help CHD patients who are going through a particularly difficult time. These are one-off grants for those in financial difficulty that meet the eligibility criteria. We can provide funds for items/expenses that can make a real difference.

Travel Insurance

We work with an insurance provider which was founded in 2007 when insurance professional Fiona Macrae was unable to find travel insurance at a reasonable price which also covered her cancer diagnosis. She founded the company with the aim of providing everyone with a medical condition a fair and affordable travel insurance policy to cover their upcoming holidays.

The policies offer competitive pricing and wide-ranging travel insurance products. They also support Somerville Heart Foundation with a donation for every policy sale, meaning your cover helps contribute to vital work and projects carried out by the charity.

Do you need a Travel Insurance quote? Click here to go to the Members Area to obtain a travel insurance quote (you will need to sign up first if you are not already a Member of Somerville Heart Foundation).

Do you need to take oxygen on your holiday? Visit the NHS Website for details of oxygen suppliers.

Click here to download our Travel Insurance Leaflet

We are often asked by healthcare Professionals in the field of congenital Cardiology to signpost people to their research. They are seeking for willing participants to shape the future of CHD care. You can make a difference by taking part in their research; or our own; to improve services for CHD patients now and in the future.

Our lawyer can provide free initial advice and is available to support our CHD patients with concerns regarding work.

Click here to read advice from our Employment Lawyer regarding informing your employer about your heart condition

email info@sfhearts.org.uk