Find out what to expect from your appointment with our heart failure service.

Before your appointment

We will book an appointment for you within 10 working days of receiving a referral letter from your GP. The date and time of your appointment will be sent to you via a letter in the post. If there is any doubt that the letter will not arrive in good time you will be contacted by phone.

You are welcome to bring a family member, friend, guardian or carer with you to the appointment. If English is not your first language or you may need help with translation, then please do bring a relative or friend who is able understand English well in order to retain information and help organise your visit. If you do not have someone who can translate for you please let us know and we can arrange for someone to be present to help with this.

You are welcome to ask for a chaperone and we will endeavour to provide one for you. 

You do not need to prepare for this appointment, however it is very important to bring all your medications to your appointment. It would be helpful if you could bring the following:

  • Full address and telephone number
  • Appointment card and appointment letter
  • GP's name and address
  • A list of questions you may want to ask the team

At your appointment

Prior to your appointment you will have an ultrasound of your heart (echocardiogram).

Upon arrival please visit the main reception. We will make every effort to ensure you are seen on time but sometimes a delay is unavoidable. Our team will ensure you are kept up to date about any delays.

On the day of your appointment you may also have an ECG (electrocardiogram; electrical recording of your heart) and your team may request blood tests.

Most people only need to be in the department for a maximum of an hour.

You will see a consultant or one of their team (heart failure specialist nurse, pharmacist or registrar) at your appointment. They will discuss the results of any tests you may have had as well as their findings and recommendations. You may be referred for further tests or your condition will be further managed in the community. The doctor will discuss next steps with you.

Please note that we are a teaching hospital, so medical students may be present for some appointments. If you do not wish to have them in the room please let the doctor or nurse know and the students will be asked to step outside.

After your appointment

Following your appointment the doctor or nurse will send recommendations and advice to your GP in a letter. You will receive a copy of this letter.

Learn more

Watch this video from the British Heart Foundation to learn more about heart failure.