Caring for patients with acute and chronic heart conditions

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Cardiology department looks after patients with acute and chronic heart conditions such as congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart disease, heart failure and people who have had heart attacks.

We offer a wide range of non­surgical Cardiac interventions and services to both in­patients and outpatients, working closely with GPs, Community Cardiac Nurses, tele­health and Acute care at Home to provide a holistic service for our patients and help them manage and improve their conditions and daily life.

Inpatients will most likely stay with us in the Cardiac Investigation Unit, a 19-bedded Cardiology Ward.

The Cardiac Catheter Labs

Cardiac catheterisation is widely used to both diagnose and treat patients with known or suspected heart disease.

At the Royal Cornwall Hospital, we have two modern and well equipped Cardiac Catheter Laboratories, which are situated in Trelawney Wing near both the Coronary Care and Cardiac Investigation Units. Many of our patients attend as day cases and don’t need to stay overnight in hospital.

The labs perform a variety of cardiac procedures, including:

  • Diagnostic coronary procedures
  • Interventional coronary interventions
  • Internal Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) procedures
  • Pacing procedures
  • ICD and Biventricular Pacing
  • Electro physiological (EP) procedures

Cardiac Catheter Laboratories Contacts

Lab phone

01872 254625

Lab Manager

Rob Benton-Smith
01872 252227

Our specialist Heart Function nurses

Heart failure affects about 1 in 100 people in the UK. It is the term used for a condition where the heart isn’t able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. For some patients, the heart can’t fill with enough blood. For other patients, the heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Symptoms include breathlessness, tiredness and ankle swelling.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Heart Function Nursing service provides clinical and educational support for patients who are admitted to hospital with heart failure. We also provide an outpatient rapid-access diagnostic clinic (The Rapid Access Heart Function Clinic). The clinic makes sure patients referred to our service by their GPs undergo appropriate imaging and are provided with a relevant clinical management plan so that their cardiac condition is identified and managed in a timely way. The team will also refer appropriate patients to the community-based Cardiac Specialist Nurses for ongoing support with condition-related education and clinical management.

The service is currently delivered by two Heart Function Nurse Specialists. We are members of the British Society for Heart Failure and also receive professional development funding from the British Heart Foundation to ensure we are appropriately trained and able to offer the best possible care for our patients

Heart Function Nurses Contacts

Phone: 01872 253018

Lead Consultant

Dr Parminder Chaggar

Clinical Nurse Specialist & Team Lead Heart Function

Mrs Joanna Davies

Nurse Specialist Heart Function

Mrs Rebecca West

Cardiac Audit and Information Facilitator (Heart Failure)

Mrs Sharon Botfield

Nurse Specialists, Heart Function

Ben Lodge
Hayley Leach

Cardiac surgical liaison service

If you have been told you require cardiac surgery / intervention and need to remain in hospital for this, we will provide support and information during your hospital stay. We are also able to provide details about accommodation and travel for family and friends. We will liaise with the surgical centre involved in your care and keep you regularly updated.

Cardiac surgical liaison Contacts

Specialist nurse and team lead

Kathy Hamilton

Specialist nurses

Joanne Nicholls
Maria Forbes
Nancy Wall
Ursula Slater

Rehabilitation for patients with Heart Disease

We work with a multidisciplinary team of health professionals to help rehabilitate patients with cardiac disease and support them to achieve and maintain optimal physical and psychosocial health.

This service is run by cardiac nurses, exercise technicians and physiotherapists who provide exercise and educational programmes across Cornwall to people who have had heart surgery or suffered a heart attack.

The rehabilitation service is available in hospital, at home and as an outreach service. We are also supported by pharmacists, dieticians, occupational therapists, heart failure and practice nurses and strongly encourage the involvement of partners, other family members and carers.

In hospital

If you have been admitted with a heart attack we will visit you to give you information and education before you are discharged home and you will be followed up by the community cardiac nurses.

If you have recently had heart surgery, the hospital where the operation was performed will tell us when you have been discharged home and one of our community nurses will contact you as soon as possible after your discharge.

At home

There are a number of cardiac rehabilitation nurses situated around Cornwall who can offer you help and support. They can provide telephone contact, clinic appointments and, if necessary, visit you at home. They will assess your recovery and offer advice and support.This may involve a exercise, education or support programme, specifically put together to meet your individual needs and wishes.

Outpatient cardiac rehabilitation exercise and education programme

Our cardiac rehabilitation nurses run exercise classes around the county. If you have had a heart attack or heart surgery you will be automatically eligible. If you have not had a heart attack or heart surgery, but would still like to talk to someone from the cardiac rehabilitation team about your heart condition, please get in touch.

Counselling and support

It is quite common to feel low after a cardiac event or have symptoms of anxiety, fear or worry. This is completely normal and usually short­ term. If you don’t start to feel better, we can offer support to help you through this time.

If you are a cardiac inpatient at the moment, please contact:

01872 253740 or

Falmouth Programmes:

  • Ships and Castles Leisure Centre, Falmouth

These cardiac rehabilitation exercise/education programmes are run by Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Contacts

Specialist nurse and team lead

Kathy Hamilton

Specialist nurses

Joanne Nicholls
Maria Forbes
Nancy Wall
Ursula Slater

If you have already been discharged from hospital, please contact:

01872 246904 or

Community Programmes are run by Peninsula Community Health and take place in;

  • Liskeard
  • St. Austell
  • Newquay
  • Redruth
  • Penzance

For GPs who want to refer a patient to the Chest Pain Clinic

If your patient is not currently under the care of a cardiologist, please download and complete this form to refer them to the Chest Pain Clinic (including those referrals which would have previously gone to the Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic).

It will allow us to decide which investigation will be most appropriate; either booking the patient directly for an investigation, or booking them in to see a member of the cardiology team in an urgent clinic.

If the patient presents with symptoms suggestive of Acute Coronary Syndrome, please admit the patient.

Further information about heart conditions and heart disease

Chest Pain Clinic Contacts

Specialist nurse and team lead

William Delacour

Specialist nurses

Nicoline Gough
Lorna Morse
Sian Armstrong
Sophie Dunkley