Jim Boydell, 75, from Eastbourne was referred by his GP to the Community Cardiology Service in September 2015. He has always been fit and healthy, having been a competitive cyclist for much of his life. In his early twenties – thanks to his involvement in elite cycling – he was asked to take part in a research trial at Salford University to measure base-line heart function in fit people. The researchers discovered that there was a slight abnormality in Jim’s heart rhythm, but they said there was nothing to worry about and to carry on riding his bike as much as he liked.
Jim forgot all about this until years later he became aware of an odd sensation in his chest when he lay down at night. He went to see his GP who decided that, given Jim’s history, he should have further investigations and referred him to the Community Cardiology Service.
A couple of weeks later, Jim had an appointment at the clinic in Eastbourne town centre with Dr Richard Blakey. Dr Blakey examined him and discussed his medical history and general health. He then asked Jim to wear an ambulatory ECG monitor for a week. This would provide a detailed picture of Jim’s heart function over an extended period of time.
Jim said: “The monitor was attached to my chest with sticky pads. I was aware of it but it wasn’t uncomfortable and didn’t stop me from doing anything – I was even able to cycle as normal.”
After a week, Jim took back the monitor and the data was examined. He saw Dr Blakey again who reassured him that there was no immediate problem to be dealt with, but they would monitor him again in two years time. In the meantime if he had any more problems or concerns about his heart he could make another appointment with the cardiology service via his GP.
Jim said: “I was glad that my GP referred me to the Community Cardiology Service as I feel reassured that my cardiac health has been properly investigated. I thought the service was very efficient and it was particularly convenient to visit the clinic in the middle of Eastbourne rather than go to hospital for an out patients appointment. It’s a nice relaxed environment and everyone is friendly and helpful.”