Rapid access chest pain clinic 

The rapid access chest pain clinic (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. Clinics currently run on Tuesday and Thursday mornings on the UCH site. This is a consultant-led clinic which enables a rapid assessment of symptoms following which any appropriate investigations will be booked and treatment may be started if necessary.

Clinic letters are usually sent out on the day. 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. Referrers should send patients with KNOWN ischaemic heart disease to the general cardiology clinic unless they have worsening symptoms.

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

  • Your doctor has referred you to the Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic.

    • Please bring a list of your tablets with you.
    • oWe aim to contact you within 2 weeks and offer you an appointment to be seen in the clinic.
  • How long will I be in the outpatient department?

    • Your visit may last around 2 hours but is usually less. This depends on whether or not you need blood tests or have to collect medication from pharmacy which can take extra time.
    • If you have any questions before your appointment then please feel free to call us on 020 3447 8066. If we are not there to answer your call, please leave your name and number on the telephone answer machine and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • What else will happen at the clinic?

    Before you leave the clinic you will be told how you will get the results of any outpatient tests (usually by post) and, if possible, given an explanation of the likely cause of your chest pain. If the doctor feels it is necessary, you may be asked to come back for review to the outpatients department and possibly for more tests.

    A letter will be sent to you and your doctor containing all the information from your visit - what has been done, your diagnosis (if known) and plans for future care.

  • What will happen at the clinic?

    Please register your arrival on the screens in outpatients and on arrival in clinic J. A healthcare assistant/nurse will measure your blood pressure, pulse, height and weight.  You will then have an electrocardiogram (ECG) which is a heart trace. You will see the cardiologist who will discuss your medical history and examine you.

    Following this, if it is appropriate, you may be given an appointment for one or more of the following tests:

      • Blood tests
      • Chest X-ray
      • CT coronary angiogram (an outpatient X- ray of the arteries of the heart performed at UCH)
      • Echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart, performed at UCH)
      • Stress echocardiogram (a specialised heart ultrasound during exercise, performed at St Bartholomew’s Hospital )
      • Myocardial perfusion scan ( a special heart X ray – out patient test performed at UCH)
      • 24hr ECG also called a Holter monitor (a heart rhythm recording for 24hr. you take a small recording box home from UCH and return it the next day)
      • Coronary angiogram (an inpatient X-ray of the heart arteries, performed at St Bartholomew’s Hospital)
      • Cardiac MRI ( a scan of the heart (no x-rays involved) performed at St Bartholomew’s Hospital)
      • 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.
  • Conditions treated

      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).
Dr M. Elsya Speechly-Dick Rapid access chest pain clinic

 Contact details

Rapid access chest pain clinic

Patient enquiries
Telephone: 020 3447 8066

GP enquiries
Telephone: 020 3447 8066

 Useful links