Your General Practitioner may refer you to our Cardiology Outpatient Clinics where you will see one of our consultant cardiologists or a member of their team.
You may be asked to come and have some investigations before being seen in the clinic. This is so that the doctor will have the results of these when you come for your appointment and they will then be able to make a diagnosis and start you on the best treatment.
New patient appointments usually take about 20 minutes and follow-up appointments 10-15 minutes. Clinics are held in the main outpatients department at Maidstone Hospital and in Outpatients Zone 1 at Tunbridge Wells Hospital. Outreach clinics are also held at Sevenoaks and Crowborough hospitals.
Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic (RACPC)
Patients with new onset chest pain may be referred to one of our Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinics where you will be seen within two weeks of being referred by your GP surgery. You will be seen in this clinic by either a doctor or a specialist nurse.
We will take a thorough history of your symptoms and perform a brief physical examination. You may then be asked to have an ‘exercise tolerance test’, which involves walking on a treadmill. The doctor will be assisted by a nurse or technician during this test. The results of this test will be discussed with you at the appointment.
You may be started on treatment, referred for further tests or discharged from the clinic back to your GP.
RACPC clinics are held in the Cardiac Investigation Unit and Maidstone Hospital and Outpatients Zone 1 at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.
Coronary Computed Tomographic (CT) Angiography
Coronary computed tomographic (CT) angiography is a quick non-invasive test that uses computed tomography to look at blood vessels that supply the heart muscle (the ‘coronary arteries’). This is carried out at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in the X-Ray Department.
It allows your doctor to see whether or not cholesterol deposits have developed in the coronary arteries that may result in ‘blockages’ that might cause symptoms or increase your risk of a future heart attack.
Coronary CT angiography is generally considered best for individuals with symptoms but who have unclear findings from a traditional stress test or strong family history of coronary artery disease. Lots of other possible indications exist for coronary CT angiography, which may be further explained by your doctor.
Myocardial Perfusion Scanning
Myocardial Perfusion Scanning uses a small amount of a radioactive chemical to create images. These images show how well blood flows to the muscle of the heart. This is carried out in the Nuclear Medicine Unit at Maidstone Hospital.
You will need to attend this clinic if you are having a planned cardiac procedure, such as:
- A cardioversion
- Coronary angiogram
- A stent
The clinic will ensure you are prepared for the procedure.
You will be seen by a specialist nurse, who will fully explain your procedure and ask you to sign a consent form.
We will take a thorough history of your symptoms and perform a brief physical examination. You might also need to have a blood test and swabs to check for infection.
Pre-assessment clinics are held in the Cardiac Catheter Units
- Heart Failure clinics
- Post pacemaker/ICD and cardioversion clinics
You will receive an appointment letter giving details of the hospital and clinic location you should attend. The letter will also have contact details in case you need to change your date and any special instructions regarding your appointment.
The cardiac rehabilitation team is a multi-professional team who provide support for patients and their families throughout their experience of heart disease, both in the hospital and the community.
We aim to see all patients after a heart attack, coronary artery by-pass grafts and heart valve surgery.
Our inpatient and home visits include discussion and explanation around diagnosis and treatments, risk factor assessment and lifestyle advice, and recovery information.
We also offer a six-week outpatient cardiac rehabilitation programme. This is provided at Maidstone Hospital, Sevenoaks Hospital and in community sports venues in Maidstone, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.