Sister Nicola Cotton, heart failure nurse specialist: If you are given a diagnosis of a heart failure, follow the advice given to you by a health professional. Taking your medication, getting as much exercise you possibly can, getting out and about as much as you possibly can, socialising, sticking to that healthy diet, stopping smoking. All of those things enable you to fulfil a more enjoyable life.
Caroline Senior, clinical lead, cardiac service: It really helps if people understand the condition, understand the symptoms that it can cause, when to seek help, how to look after yourself the best you can. With the best will in the world, the healthcare professionals aren't seeing you every day, so you're the most important person in your condition. So the more you know about it, the more educated you are, the more you can manage your condition yourself.
Dr Gerry Carr-White, consultant cardiologist: Simple things like trying to do as much exercise as you feel capable of, healthy diet, making sure you're pretty good with your medicines.
Dr Joe Mills, consultant cardiologist: So if you take drugs such as ACE inhibitors and beta blockers, particularly those classes of drugs and some of the more new drugs, then we know that you're doing everything that you can to maximise your chances of your symptoms remaining stable and living as long as possible outside of a hospital admission.
Hannah Simmons, heart failure nurse specialist: It's important that patients know why they're taking their medications, what the side effects of these medications are, but also they need to know how important they are to keep taking them and that they are lifelong drugs.
Alan White, heart failure patient: I can't stress to you strongly enough, if you want to stay alive, if you want to stay as best you can treating your condition, follow the advice they give you, follow the rule of the number of tablets you take.
Charlotte Farron, heart failure clinical nurse specialist: So flu jabs and pneumonia vaccines are important, just because your risk of complications with heart failure is obviously increased and you won't fight those infections as well as some of us. So flu jab is once a year and the pneumonia vaccine is once a lifetime.
Dr Joe Mills: The strongest predictor of improved survival is probably exercise and I don't mean go to the gym and do an hour on the treadmill, I mean, just not being sedentary. So whatever your norm is, if you can increase what you are or were doing, to something beyond that, then that's the biggest impact you can have.
Caroline Senior: So even if you don't feel like it, if you can remain as active as you can be, whatever that is, even if it's just walking around the house regularly, that's really important and really helpful to keep you mobile and keep you going.
Hannah Simmons: You might initially go home feeling that you don't want to contemplate exercise and activity, but that is so important in strengthening your heart muscle, and gradually you will feel the more activity you do, the better you will do, and the more energy you will have.
Dr Mike Knapton, GP and associate medical director, British Heart Foundation: And of course exercise is much more fun if you do it with others, and so we've found that group-based exercise, whether it be in the gym, or doing a bit of rambling or whatever, is a very effective way of gradually increasing your fitness, gradually increasing your exercise tolerance, and returning to a normal quality of life.
Hannah Simmons: Activity doesn't have to take the form of running, and jogging, and walking, it could be through gardening, through doing some household chores, it could be through cleaning the windows, anything that might get you a little bit warm and breathless.
Charlotte Farron: There's one lady that literally just gets up and walks around her living room every time Coronation Street break is on, that's what she does, and she feels better for it.
Clare Pearson, heart failure cardiac rehabilitation nurse specialist: Things like hoovering, depending on how big your house is, can be quite energetic, even washing up can be quite taxing for certain people, but it is doing some kind of physical activity. Things like walking the dog. Lots of people don't even consider that when they're walking the dog, they're doing exercise, they think they're just exercising the dog, which is not the case. Making your bed can be quite energetic, playing with grandchildren, anything like that really, anything that's getting the heart pumping a bit more, getting you a bit hot, a bit sweaty and a bit breathless, means you're doing some form of exercise.
Dr Mike Knapton: It's very important to stress that whilst exercise can make you breathless, exercising can also make you better, and what you'll be doing is training up the body, in the same way as an athlete trains up their body to increase their exercise tolerance, you can do that too. So graded exercise, sometimes under the supervision of a cardiac rehabilitation specialist, will go a long way to restoring your normal exercise tolerance. The other thing I would say is manage your cardiovascular risk factors, so eat a sensible diet, if you're overweight try and lose a bit of weight, and the message there is don't set unrealistic targets, half a stone is better than nothing, so small steps can make big differences. And thirdly, and most importantly, don't smoke and if you do, stop.
Charlotte Farron: We don't recommend it for anyone, let alone anyone with a heart condition. There are smoking cessation groups and NHS groups, and the GP can obviously help you with the stopping smoking, if you want to.
Caroline Senior: Certainly with alcohol, there's no reason why you can't drink alcohol, but it's just to try and spread anything out across the week, have two or three days alcohol-free a week, which is the same advice as for the general population.
Clare Pearson: As long as you haven't been told that alcohol has caused your heart failure, then we do say that you can have it within moderation. The guideline for moderation is no more than 14 units a week for men and women.
Niall Monaghan, heart failure patient: If you sit on the sofa every day and just watch TV and drink cups of tea, then it's going to get worse. A lot of it, I firmly believe, is what you do. The hospitals can only do so much. You've got to have the right attitude and do a lot for yourself.
Dr Joe Mills: The most important thing is that our responsibility within the healthcare professional world, is to allow the patient, the person, to manage their condition, to understand it, to manage it for themselves, and actually that is probably our number one priority, and we know that if we do effectively, patients do the best that they can possibly do, if they are allowed to manage the condition themselves.