Covid-19: Important Information for Clinicians
The Community Cardiology Service intends to carry on managing referred patients during the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to do this safely and in-line with measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, we are adapting our operating model. As much as possible patients will be assessed and provided with a care plan remotely and will only be asked to come to a clinic if absolutely necessary.
Outpatient referrals to Cardiology
As the Covid-19 pandemic intensifies, there is going to be pressure of an unprecedented level on cardiac inpatient services. Therefore, please try wherever possible to refer patients with cardiac symptoms to the Community Cardiology Service, as this will help relieve some of the burden from hospital cardiology units. But do be mindful that community cardiology is also under pressure so please ensure your referral is warranted.
Referrals should be made in the normal way – that is, by email to: EHSCCG.email@example.com
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO ACCEPT REFERRALS BY POST OR FAX.
We will provide you and your patients with up-dates and care plans as usual.
NB: Unfortunately we don’t yet have a way to deal remotely with patients who have communication difficulties so if your patient has problems talking on the phone or needs a translator, could you either delay referring them until things are back to normal when we can see them in clinic or if clinically necessary, refer them directly to hospital where translation services are more readily available.
What to tell your patients about their referral to the Community Cardiology Service
So that patients know what to expect, please could you explain that they will be sent a provisional appointment by post, but they will be called by one of the Community Cardiology Service’s doctors a week or so beforehand. This will enable the doctor to assess whether the patient actually needs to come to their appointment or whether their condition can be managed remotely. In many cases a treatment plan can be given over the phone and followed up in writing.
Patients should also understand that we will not be fitting monitors during this period owing to the high risk of transmitting Covid-19.
Echocardiography will not be carried out unless a patient has suspected heart failure, significant valve disease or cardiomyopathy.
These are challenging times for the NHS like never before, but we believe that the Community Cardiology Service can help offload demand on hospital cardiology services and continue to provide a safe community-based service for patients with cardiac symptoms. Thank you for your continued support and try to stay safe (and sane).
Clinicians & Commissioners
The Community Cardiology Service provides outpatient clinics and diagnostics for GPs non-urgent Cardiology patients aged 18 and over.
The service is delivered by GPs with a Special Interest in Cardiology (GPwSI) along with a multidisciplinary team of nurses, cardiac physiologists and patient care advisors. Clinical support and mentoring is provided by Cardiology Consultants from the local hospital trust, which also ensures a seamless care pathway into secondary care when needed.