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Heart Failure

Advice to Heart Failure Patients during Covid-19 Outbreak from the UHCW Heart Failure Team

The UHCW Heart Failure team working across Coventry and Rugby acknowledge that you may be concerned about Covid-19 if you have a confirmed diagnosis of Heart Failure.

We continue to work for our Heart Failure Patients to ensure that you all receive safe and effective care despite the challenging circumstances.

Shielding and Social Distancing

Heart Failure Patients have been advised to shield or practice social distancing by the government.

The British Heart Foundation have summarised information about “what it means for you”.

Please follow this link for more information.


If you have an upcoming clinic appointment with your Cardiologist or Heart Failure Nurse, you should assume that you DO NOT need to attend in person.

You will receive notification that this will now be conducted virtually over the telephone. In exceptional circumstances, if a after a telephone review, it is felt that you definitely need to be seen in person, you may be asked to attend the City of Coventry Health Centre for a face to face clinic.

If hospital treatment is necessary and you need admission on our cardiology ward it is useful for you to know that our ward has temporarily moved from ward10 to ward 42.

Ward 42 is fully operational to provide the safest cardiology care possible, and we will aim to discharge you as soon as possible with follow up care in the community setting.

Blood tests

You may be asked to have a blood test, this can be arranged at your home depending on your risk, or attending your usual blood taking department.

We would advise pre-booking your blood test to avoid waiting longer in these locations. We understand patients are anxious about attending for blood tests, but for some patients the risk of harm from not having blood test monitoring is higher than the likelihood of contracting the virus.

We will only ask you to have a blood test if it is absolute necessary.

Heart Failure Medications

It is especially important for you at this time to take your prescribed medications regularly and not run out of supply of these lifesaving drugs.

You may have read articles in the press or social media that some Heart Failure and high blood pressure medications such as Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors (ACEi or medicines ending in ‘pril’) and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARB or medicines ending in ‘sartan’) could worsen Covid-19.

There is currently no evidence to support this speculation. We therefore advise you to continue these medications, as they are essential for the treatment of your Heart Failure or high blood pressure. This advice is supported by and in keeping with the advice from the following learned societies:

Joint British Cardiovascular Society and British Society for Heart Failure:  

European Society of Cardiology Council on Hypertension:


During the Covid-19 outbreak we would advise you to be vigilant in checking your Heart Failure Symptoms daily. Please refer to your Red, Amber and Green symptom guide given to you when you first met your Heart Failure Nurse.

This includes the following:

  • Weighing yourself
  • Checking for any increase in swelling in your feet, ankles, legs and abdomen
  • If you have a blood pressure machine you could chart your blood pressure and heart rate once a day to report to health professionals for telephone reviews
  • Monitor if you are more short of breath on exertion.

If you notice any deteriorating symptoms of Heart Failure it is important to report this to your Heart Failure Nurse, or GP, or out of hours phone 111. Early action may help to keep you out of hospital.

Pumping Marvellous has produced this symptom guide for more information.

Contact Details

Coventry Community Heart Failure Nurses – 0300 3032444

Rugby Heart Failure Nurses – 01788 663944

UHCW Acute Heart Failure Nurses – 02476 965814