Your General Practitioner (GP) will refer you to one of our clinics if they are concerned about your heart and want a specialist opinion.
If you have an urgent problem requiring immediate cardiological assessment, you are referred to the acute General Medical Services where you will initially be seen by the Registrar (trainee specialist) who will decide whether you need to be admitted to hospital. Investigations will be performed as required, and the more senior members of the team involved where necessary.
If the problem is non-urgent, the GP will write a letter to the Cardiology Department requesting an appointment in the outpatient clinic. Each month the Department receives more referrals than can be seen in clinic. One of the consultant cardiologists working in the Department reviews these letters to determine who should be seen first, based on the information provided by the GP. Very urgent cases are usually seen within two weeks, but other cases may have to wait longer. Once you receive your appointment you will need to stay in touch with your GP and any change in your symptoms or concerns in regards to your heart condition should be promptly relayed to them.
At your clinic appointment you need to bring:
- Any letters or reports from your doctor or another hospital.
- Any X-Rays, CT or MRI films and reports.
- All medicines you are currently taking including herbal and natural remedies.
- Your pharmaceutical entitlement card.
You will be seen by a member of the cardiology team who will ask questions about your illness and examine you to try to determine or confirm the diagnosis. This process may also require a number of tests (e.g. blood tests, x-rays, scans etc). Sometimes this can all be done during one clinic visit, but for some conditions this will take several follow-up appointments. In many cases the requested investigations will be arranged and you will be called by our departments accordingly. Your specialist will follow-up on your results and contact you or your GP.
Once a diagnosis is made, you will be invited to attend the clinic and a member of the medical staff will discuss treatment options and plan for follow-up. They will write to your GP with advice and may or may not arrange for you to attend a follow-up clinic.