Your Appointment

Consultation with a Doctor

Your appointment will be with one of our doctors – Dr Richard Blakey and Dr Matt Jackson, both GPs with specialist training in Cardiology.

In most cases the doctor will consult with you and give you a treatment plan by telephone.  Your consultation may be either before or after any diagnostic tests.

During your consultation the doctor spend up to 30 minutes talking to you about your symptoms, your general health and medical history. This information will enable the doctor to decide the next steps in your care plan.

The doctor may decide that you do not need any medical treatment at this stage but may recommend some lifestyle changes. They will write to both you and your GP to confirm this.

The doctor may recommend another test, such as an echocardiogram (an ultrasound scan of your heart) or to wear a monitor for a set period of time.   Our doctor will then write to you and your GP with the results and recommendations for a care plan.

Some patients may need further investigation and treatment with a consultant cardiologist at the hospital. We will arrange an appointment for you and inform your GP.

Monitor- fitting appointment

You will be fitted with a small portable Ambulatory ECG monitor for up to a week to measure your heart’s rhythm over a period of time.  You will need to come to either our Eastbourne or Herstmonceux clinic where one of the Cardiac Physiologists will fit the monitor and explain how to use it.

The fitting will take around 10 minutes during which the Physiologist will tell you how the monitor works.  She will also show you how to remove it and refit it yourself for showering or bathing.

The Physiologist will give you a diary sheet and will explain how to complete it.  You will need to return the sheet with the monitor at the end of the test.

What should I wear?

The Physiologist will need to attach sensors to your upper body.  Therefore, we suggest that you wear clothes – including underwear – that you can easily remove or unbutton completely.

Can I have someone with me?

You are welcome to bring someone with you.

How do I return the monitor?

Please return the monitor to the clinic where you had it fitted on the day specified – returning the monitor late could mean a delay to your diagnosis.  You will be given a labelled bag in which to return the monitor and leads along with your completed diary sheet.  The electrodes should be disposed of in your general waste bin.  Please hand the bag to someone at reception at the clinic where you had the monitor fitted.

What happens after the appointment?

The information about your heart’s activity will be reviewed by the cardiac doctor who will contact you either by phone or letter to explain the results and whether you will need further investigations and/or treatment.

Echocardiogram appointment

This is an ultrsound scan of your heart and surrounding blood vesskes which privude detailed information about your heart’s health.  The procedure is carried out by our Cardiac Physiologists at our Eastbourne and Herstmonceux clinics.  If you are also having a heart monitor fitted, this will be done after the echocardiogram.

What should I wear? 

The Physiologist will need to access your chest so we suggest you wear something you can easily remove or unbutton completely.  You will need to remove underwear.

How long does it take?

An echocardiogram takes between 30 and 40 minutes.  If you are also having a heart monitor fitted, the appointment may take up to an hour.

What happens after the appointment?

The information about your heart will be reviewed by the cardiac doctor who will contact you either by phone or letter to explain the results and whether you will need further investigations and/or treatment.

You can read more about diagnostic tests here.

How do I change or cancel my appointment?

Please ring our Patient Care team on:

0333 3326946 (this is a local call)

We understand that there are sometimes unforeseen circumstances that mean you cannot make your appointment but if you do not let us know, you may be putting your health at risk.

If you cannot attend your appointment it’s essential you tell us as soon as possible so that we can reschedule and free up your original appointment for another patient.

Dr Richard Blakey

Dr Blakey is a local GP with a special interest in Cardiology who along with Dr Jackson set up The Community Cardiology Service in 2009. He is the cardiovascular and renal lead for Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG, the clinical lead for atrial fibrillation and heart failure for Kent, Sussex and Surrey Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and the Education Lead for the Primary Care Cardiovascular Society. He currently runs Cardiology clinics on Monday in Eastbourne (pm), Tuesday at Herstmonceux (pm) and Thursday in Eastbourne (pm).

Dr Matt Jackson

Dr Jackson is a local GP with a special interest in Cardiology. He is co co-founder of the Community Cardiology Service, along with Dr Blakey. He is a partner at Seaford Medical Practice. Before that he was at Hailsham Medical Group. He currently runs Cardiology clinics on Wednesday in Eastbourne (am) and Westham (pm).

Cardiographer

Debbie McIvor

Debbie is an experienced Cardiographer and carries out most of the diagnostic tests at the clinics, as well as fitting monitors for patients in their own homes.

Cardiac Physiologists

Jet Van Zalen and Lesley Hart

The Cardiac Physiologists are qualified to degree-level in the diagnosis and treatment of adults and children with heart disease. They perform and report on cardiac tests, such as electrocardiograms (ECG).

Cardiac Consultants

The Community Cardiology Service is supported by Cardiology Consultants. They provide expert opinion and direct access to the Cardiology department at Eastbourne District General Hospital for patients who need further investigation and/or treatment by a Cardiology Consultant.

Dr Guy Lloyd

Dr Lloyd was a Consultant Cardiologist at Eastbourne DGH from 2002-2015. He is now the Consultant Cardiologist and Lead Clinician for Echocardiography at St Bartholomew’s and University College Hospitals. He lives in Eastbourne and provides professional support and guidance to the Community Cardiology Service.

Patient Support and Services

Jackie Woods, Jan Ruffells, Amy McIvor & Sabine Bell

Jackie, Jan, Amy and Sabine are the first point of contact for patients. They are responsible for booking appointments and making sure patients and their GPs are kept informed about follow up investigations and outcomes. Patients can call them directly if they have any queries about their appointment and to cancel and change appointments.

Contact Patient Support on: 0333 3326946

Jules Causton

Jules is the General Manager for The Community Cardiology Service and Integrated Cardiology Solutions and is the point of contact for finance, suppliers, media and marketing and NHS contract management issues.

Contact Jules on: 07870 248102

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