Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic

Our private Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic (RACPC) is entirely consultant-delivered and unique in Dorset and Hampshire.

Our RACPC provides a quick and early specialist cardiology assessment for patients with new onset of exertional chest pain thought likely to be angina, and for patients not currently under a cardiologist who have known ischaemic heart disease and worsening symptoms, who need urgent assessment.

This is a consultant-led, one-stop clinic, which enables a rapid and definitive assessment of symptoms and investigations and results in either the initiation of treatment or the swift reassurance of patients without pathology.

Clinics currently run every morning at the Dorset Heart Clinic.

All patients are offered an appointment within 2 days of a referral, with clinic letters generally sent out within 24hrs.

Our clinic is a fast route of entry into cardiology services for patients with suspected ischaemic heart disease.

It allows quick access to appropriate treatment, either medication or invasive procedures and to all-important advice on risk factor modification and prevention and to rehabilitation services.

We will accept referrals of patients with NEW ONSET chest pain suspected to be cardiac in origin. We will also accept referrals of patients with KNOWN ischaemic heart disease if their symptoms are worsening.

We can also offer one-stop CT coronary calcium scoring for rapid definitive rule out of coronary disease in lower risk patients.

Patients with suspected myocardial infarction or acute coronary syndromes should go directly to A&E.

How to refer a patient

You can refer a patient securely and confidentially to our referral team via email, telephone or fax:

Email: referrals@dorsetheartclinic.co.uk
Tel: 01202 705 454
Fax: 01202 705 455

Frequently asked questions

What type of conditions do we care for?

We care for patients with:

  • New onset exertional chest pain
  • Ischaemic heart disease and worsening symptoms who need urgent assessment

Why have you been referred?

The aim of the service is to offer a rapid assessment of the possible cause of your chest pain. Chest pain sometimes comes from the heart. You have been referred to the Clinic because your doctor thinks your chest pain may be related to your heart and would like the opinion of a doctor who specialises in heart disease (Cardiologist).

What will happen at the clinic?

Please arrive at the main reception of the Dorset Heart Clinic located in the Cardiac Intervention Unit. Upon arrival, we will ask you to complete a registration form if this has not already been sent to you in advance. You will then have an electrocardiogram (ECG) which is a heart trace. You will then see a consultant cardiologist specialising in chest pain who will discuss your medical history and examine you.

Following this you may need to have one or more of the following tests or be given an appointment for them:

  • Blood tests and chest X-ray
  • An Exercise ECG test which involves walking on a treadmill at increasing speed while your pulse, blood pressure and heart trace are monitored by a cardiac technician. In case you need this test please wear loose clothing, with an easily removable top and trainers or flat shoes – no high heels or slingback shoes
  • CT calcium scoring ( a very short CT scan (X-ray)
  • CT coronary angiogram (an outpatient x-ray of the arteries of the heart)
  • Echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart)
  • Stress echocardiogram (a specialised heart ultrasound during exercise )
  • Myocardial perfusion scan ( a special heart muscle x-raoutpatientnt test)
  • 24hr ECG (a heart rhythm recording for 24hr. you take a small recording box home)
  • Coronary angiogram ( see separate info sheet- an inpatient X-ray of the heart arteries)

How do I prepare for the clinic visit?

  • Please bring a list of your tablets with you.
  • Please do not have breakfast on the morning of your appointment; you can only drink water.
  • Do bring a snack to have after your blood tests.