Coronavirus: interventional cardiology services update
We know that this is a concerning time for lots of people. Even through the coronavirus (COVID-19) 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 as we can during this challenging time.
Please see our commonly asked questions and the information on this page 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 it is safe to do so. If your situation has 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.
Clinical help and advice
If you have symptoms that could be a medical emergency (such as a heart attack or stroke), call 999 and ask for an ambulance.
If you have not heard from us within three days of your scheduled appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are unable to use email or your query is urgent, please call 020 7188 1049.
You can contact us by email if you are an existing patient who has previously been seen in our service and need advice from the clinical team, email us at email@example.com and we will try to email back as soon as we can.
Contact us by telephone on 020 7188 1049 if you need to urgently discuss your clinical condition and we will ask one of the clinicians to phone you back as soon as they can.
Advice and guidance
We are doing everything we can to support GPs and your patients during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. If you need advice from our clinical team, please use the current advice and guidance channels, including e-RS advice and guidance for written communication, or Consultant Connect to speak to a senior clinician immediately.
We would encourage you to contact our clinical team through advice and guidance before making a referral.
Our consultants are vetting all heart failure referrals as usual. We will be contacting urgent patients but we are not currently booking routine patients and so there may be a significant delay before seeing your patient.
Please consider this before making any referral as our capacity to see new patients is very limited, and warn patients that they may not be seen immediately.
What is interventional cardiology?
This involves treating heart disease without using open surgery (large cuts or incisions to the body). The procedures are called minimally invasive, because they involve small cuts to gain access to the inside of the body and often use catheters (thin, hollow, flexible tubes).
St Thomas' is one of the largest units in the country for invasive cardiology procedures. We perform a wide variety of procedures including:
- coronary angiography
- coronary angioplasty
- mitral valvuloplasty
- rotational atherectomy
- laser angioplasty
- intravascular ultrasound
- pressure wire studies
- septal ablations
- trans-catheter aortic valve implantation
In 2013, the unit performed approximately 3,200 cardiac catheters and 1,000 angioplasties. All consultant outcomes are reported publicly on the British Cardiovascular Intervention Society website.
St Thomas' is a centre for 24 hour primary angioplasty, which is a treatment for patients who are having a heart attack and are brought to hospital by ambulance or arrive at accident and emergency (A&E).