Important Information for Patients during the Covid-19 pandemic
As you are aware the Corona virus pandemic has severely disrupted healthcare services. However, the Community Cardiology Service is continuing to run, and if you have been referred by your GP, you will be investigated by one of the service’s doctors.
To minimise the risk of infection and to keep our patients, staff and the community safe, we have changed the way we are interacting with patients. Please read the following information very carefully:
You will receive, or may have already received a letter with a PROVISIONAL appointment/s for you at one of our clinics.
In the week before the appointment one of the Community Cardiology doctors will telephone you.
The doctor will spend 10-15 minutes going through:
- Your symptoms
- Your medical history
- Medication that you are taking or have taken in the past
- Your lifestyle
- Your family history
This information will enable the doctor to decide the next steps in your care plan. In many cases we can avoid a face-to-face appointment and give you a treatment plan over the phone, followed up in writing.
While this is a very different service than the one that we normally provide, our aim is ensure patients with cardiac symptoms can continue to receive care but without compromising the safety of the community as a whole. We are grateful for your understanding in these extremely difficult times.
IMPORTANT: ONLY ATTEND YOUR APPOINTMENT/S IF YOU HAVE SPOKEN TO ONE OF OUR DOCTORS AND BEEN ADVISED TO DO SO
If you are in any doubt or have any questions or concerns please contact our admin team on 0333 332 6946
What will happen at my appointment?
You will have a consultation with one of our doctors, who specialise in cardiac problems. He or she will ask you about your symptoms, your general health and lifestyle and your medical history. They may decide you need some diagnostic tests like those listed below. These will usually be carried out by one of our cardiac technicians or a physiologist. You can read more about what they do here. (link to people page)
How long will my appointment take?
Your appointment could take up to two hours, particularly if you need to have one or more tests.
What tests might I have?
You may not need any tests at this stage. However the doctor may decide that it would be helpful for you to have one or more of the following tests to help with diagnosis.
- ECG – this can be carried out during your appointment. It is a simple, painless test to check your heart’s rhythm. You can read more about it here.
- Ambulatory ECG Monitor – you may be asked to wear this small portable ECG monitor for up to a week to measure your heart’s rhythm over a period of time. You can read more about it here.
- Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor – you may be asked to wear a small device for 24 hours to get an accurate picture of your blood pressure over a period of time. You can read more about it here.
- Echocardiogram – you will probably be given an additional appointment if you need an echocardiogram as it takes a good 30 minutes to carry out… You can read more about the procedure here.
What happens after my appointment?
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.
If you have some tests or are asked to wear a monitor for a set period of time, then we may need to see you again at a follow-up appointment. 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.
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.
Who will I see at my appointment?
Community Cardiology Doctors
Your appointment will be with one of our doctors – Dr Richard Blakey and Dr Matt Jackson. Dr Blakey and Dr Jackson are GPs with specialist training in cardiology. They will talk to you about your symptoms, your general health and medical history. They will recommend a care plan, which may involve lifestyle changes (such as losing weight), medication, further tests or seeing a Cardiology Consultant.