Cardiology

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
Email: rch-tr.heartfunction@nhs.net

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

Our cardiac chest pain specialist nurses

Chest pain accounts for 6% of all Emergency Department attendances in England and Wales, representing approximately 700,000 visits annually. Conditions causing chest pain or discomfort, such as an acute coronary syndrome or angina, have a potentially poor prognosis, emphasising the importance of prompt and accurate diagnosis.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust Chest Pain Specialist Nursing service provides clinical review and management advice for patients who present to the Royal Cornwall Hospital with symptomatic coronary artery disease, liaising closely with the emergency medical teams and the cardiology team. We also provide an outpatient rapid-access chest pain assessment service (Rapid-Access Chest Pain Clinic). This is a 2 week referral to review service for patients presenting to their GP or the Emergency Department, with symptoms suggestive for stable angina. See Link for further information regarding the Rapid-Access Chest Pain Clinic.

The Chest Pain Specialist Nursing service is delivered by five chest pain specialist nurses who have all undergone specific training and have many years of experience within cardiology services.

Chest Pain Nurses Contacts

Phone: 01872 252911
Email: rch-tr.ChestRef@nhs.net

Lead Consultant

Dr Mohamed Abubakr

Clinical Nurse Specialist & Team Lead for Chest Pain Specialist Nursing Service

Mr William Delacour

Chest Pain Specialist Nurses

Mrs Nicoline Holder
Mrs Lorna Morse
Mrs Sian Armstrong
Mrs Sophie Dunkley

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

Rapid access chest pain clinic

The Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic is a 2 week referral to review nurse-led service for patients presenting to their GP or the Emergency Department, with symptoms suggestive for stable angina. The service is overseen by a consultant cardiologist.

Upon receipt of your referral a member of the Chest Pain Specialist Nursing Team will review your referral to ensure it is appropriate for the clinic. If appropriate, the team will accept the referral and inform the cardiology booking teams who will contact you with either a date to come in for a face to face appointment, a video consultation or telephone consultation. (Please note that during the Covid-19 pandemic period all appointments are offered by video or telephone consultation only). If the team do not feel your referral is appropriate, they will decline the referral and refer you back to your GP.

On the day of your appointment you should have a list of your medications available as this will be reviewed during your assessment. Alongside this, you will be asked a series a questions regarding your symptoms, cardiac risk factors, past medical history and social circumstances. If attending for a face to face appointment a focused clinical examination will be performed, ECG and blood pressure obtained plus measurement of your height and weight will be taken. If receiving a video or telephone assessment, your referrer will have already provided this information as part of your referral to the clinic.

At the end of your appointment the Chest Pain Nurse Specialist will give you a provisional working diagnosis which may if felt necessary require you to attend for further investigations. Such as: CT coronary angiogram, Myocardial Perfusion Scanning, Diagnostic Invasive Coronary Angiogram (+/- proceed to coronary angioplasty) or Echocardiogram. The Chest Pain Nurse Specialist may also make recommendations regarding initiation/alteration of medications and may if appropriate refer you onto addition services such as the lipid clinic, smoking cessation and healthy outlook.

If referred on for a CT coronary angiogram or Myocardial Perfusion scan, the Chest Pain Nurse Specialist will advise you and your GP of the results when available and advice on any further management. All other investigations will be followed up by a consultant cardiologist.

For GPs who want to refer a patient to the Rapid-Access 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.

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 rch-tr.cardiacrehab@nhs.net

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 CommunityCardiacServices@cornwall.nhs.uk

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

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

Further information about heart conditions and heart disease

Healthy Outlook

Healthy Outlook provides free support to people in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly who have been diagnosed with and find it difficult to manage their cardiovascular related problems and are also suffering from anxiety, stress or low mood.

If you would like to find out more about our service visit: https://www.cornwallft.nhs.uk/healthy-outlook/
If you would like a referral, speak to your GP or any other health professional involved with your care. They can then make a referral for you by visiting: https://www.cornwallft.nhs.uk/register-online