Coronavirus: Cardiac surgery update
We know that this is a concerning time for lots of people. Throughout the coronavirus situation, we remain committed to providing you and your family the best, and safest, care possible.
We are changing how we work in the cardiovascular team, so that we can continue providing the best care possible for current and new patients, both in and out of our hospital. These changes are designed to help keep everyone as safe.
Please see our frequently asked questions and the links below for further details on changes we are making, and contact details for your clinical team.
To reduce the risk to our patients, whilst still ensuring they get the care they need, our team of consultants and nurses are carefully reviewing every single patient's medical history and test results. Following these detailed reviews, they can find which patients need to be seen in person, which patients could have a 'virtual' review, and which patients could safely have their appointment postponed.
We are currently working to contact every patient regarding any changes. We understand that you may have waited some time for an appointment, and we apologise that your appointment may be changed.
After our detailed review, one of the following may happen:
- in some cases, we are changing appointments to a telephone consultation, and in certain circumstances, a video appointment. This prevents you from having to travel to the Trust.
- some patients may be discharged back to their GP and we will write to you if this is the case. If you have been discharged back to your GP, it is because we believe it is safe to do so. If your situation as changed, please let us know.
- some appointments may be deferred without a future date being arranged at this stage. If we defer your appointment, this is because we believe it is safe to do so. You will remain on our waiting list and we will contact you in due course. If your symptoms have changed and you think you should be seen, please contact your team so we can give you the help and treatment you need.
We understand that this is a concerning time, and we apologise that we have had to change your appointment. If you have not heard from us within three days of your scheduled appointment please contact us by email email@example.com.
Clinical help and advice
If you are worried about your health or feel that you are getting worse, or you are unable to email, please call us on 020 7188 1044 so that we can give you the help and treatment you need. Our phone lines are very busy and there may be a wait for your call to be answered.
If you have symptoms that could be a medical emergency (such as a heart attack or stroke), dial 999.
The cardiac surgery service is run by a team of cardiac consultants. If you are under their care, then you are a patient of the cardiac surgery team.
Our nurse practitioners are also available on the numbers below. Please leave a message with your name, contact details, and query.
- 020 7188 1085
- 020 7188 7567
- 020 7188 8697
- 020 7188 3465
Please note that many of our clinical staff are assisting with the unprecedented situation of the coronavirus situation. This may mean a slightly longer response time than usual. However, we assure you that we will contact you as soon as we can.
Contact us by email:
- for queries regarding your appointment or the contact details we have for you
- if you have recently discovered you are pregnant and need specific advice and guidance
- if you are self-isolating for a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection.
Contact us by telephone:
- if you need to urgently discuss your clinical condition, or are concerned about new symptoms
- if you do not have access to email or our website.
Advice and guidance
We are doing everything we can to support GPs and your patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, prior to any referral, we would strongly advise that GPs to seek advice and guidance via e-RS or Consultant Connect (if it is available in your area).
Please note that all of our services available on e-RS are set up for advice requests. This will enable the clinical team to review your request and provide an interim treatment plan for ongoing management of a patient. They can also advise/ provide clarification regarding a patients test results.
The GP can attach documents to the e-RS advice request, which may include diagnostic results, scanned images (eg ECGs). Providers can also respond with attachments
If you feel that a referral is absolutely necessary, please refer via e-RS and use the 'defer to provider' functionality for urgent/2WW referrals. Please attach the referral letter at the point of referral/within 24 hours. For 2WW referrals, please ensure that the patient meets the criteria ahead of referring. Please do not refer urgent patients under 2WW as this will overwhelm the service.
The Trust will vet the referral and either book into a virtual appointment or add the patient to the waiting list if they need a face-to-face appointment.
Please do not defer to provider routine referrals. Send the appointment request to the patient so they can do this when they are ready to book.
Please consider this before making any referral as our capacity to see new patients is very limited.
For any training issues/ technical assistance with e-RS/Smartcards, please contact your local CSU facilitators or Registration Authority Helpdesk.
For south-east London GPs, your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has commissioned the Consultant Connect service so you can also use this to seek advice.
We are in the process of expanding our Consultant Connect lines – these will be available Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, and the communication will come via your local CCG bulletins. Please share this information within your practice.
Frequently asked questions
Visit our frequently asked questions (FAQs) page for answers to queries we have been receiving.
At our cardiovascular surgery unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, we provide a first class specialist surgery for all heart conditions. These include:
- coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG)
- valve replacement and repair
- minimally invasive surgery – off pump CABG and minimal access valve replacement/repair
- re-do CABG and valve surgery
- major aortic surgery in conjunction with vascular surgery
- aortic dissection service
- adult congenital heart disease surgery
- surgery for heart rhythm problems (convergent, MAZE).