The Cardiorespiratory Department is staffed by a team of highly skilled cardiac physiologists and assistant cardiac physiologists, who specialise in all aspects of cardiac and respiratory testing and analysis. Our consultant physicians and consultant cardiologists are supported by nursing assistants in the clinics. We work alongside all of the wards, as well as the Coronary Unit.
The Department is based at Harrogate District Hospital, where we provide our outpatient and inpatient services. However, we do provide some services in the community. Our specialist cardiac rehabilitation nurses, specialist heart failure nurses, and specialist respiratory nurses work both onsite and in the local community.
Test and clinics
We provide a range of effective tests within the Cardiorespiratory Department:
Electrocardiogram (ECG): this is one of the commonest, quickest and most important cardiac investigations. The ECG records the rate and rhythm of the heart, but also can show more subtle issues such as electrolyte abnormalities and inadequate blood supply. The ECG can change quickly and even if you had an ECG at your GP surgery, it is likely that this will be repeated if you attend one of our clinics.
Electrocardiogram (ECG) Monitors: This monitor reviews your heart rate and rhythm over a period of time. We will monitor you for a period of time ranging from 24 hours to seven days dependent on symptoms. The monitor can be clipped to your belt or carried in a small bag around your neck.
24 hour blood pressure monitoring: as blood pressure can fluctuate, we need to know if we’re treating true hypertension or just occasional high readings. We will fit a cuff to your arm and you will be asked to carry a monitor for 24 hours on a belt. The results from this test can help us tailor our treatment for individual patients.
Echocardiography (transthoracic): we may take a cardiac ultrasound to look at the structures, size and function of the heart.
Exercise tolerance test: we perform this test using a treadmill and computer system which allows use to analyse your ECG and blood pressure. We often perform this test if we suspect you might have angina, but it can also be used to assess how your heart rate and rhythm responds to exercise.
Pacemaker follow-up: patients may have pacemakers fitted for a variety of reasons, including to speed up slow heart rate and to re-synchronise the beating of the ventricles. We run follow-up checks to assess heart rhythm, rate, and lead function battery data.
Spirometry is a simple breathing test. It is a useful bassline measurement if any kind of lung disease is suspected. There are two parts to the test and they measure how much air you can expel from your lungs both at a relaxed pace and then at a forced pace.
This test is done to try and determine the cause of certain types of syncope (fainting or blackouts). The test is done on a special bed that you will be secured to and you will be tilted to a 70o angle (head-up) for around 40 minutes. Your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored with every beat of your hears with a special finger probe and ECG leads. It is designed to bring on your symptoms and confirm the cause of syncope, therefore guide the Doctors to the relevant treatment. Although we tilt for around 40 minutes the test will be stopped earlier if your symptoms are provoked. You will recover you for a short while after the test.
Implantable loop recorder follow-up: if patients have rare episodes of fainting or fast heart beats that we have failed to capture on other types of non-invasive cardiac monitoring, we can implant an ECG recorder, which lasts for about three years. We run regular follow-up clinics to check the implants.
Pulmonary function testing: we run a range of lung function tests. We may ask you to try some breathing manoeuvres, which enable us to determine the size and function of the lungs. We also do reversibility studies, where you inhale some medication either through a nebuliser or an inhaler. We will then assess how effective these drugs are.
Overnight oximetry: if we suspect that you have short pauses in your breathing during sleep, we may fit you with an overnight oximeter to monitor that. This fits round your wrist, and can be taken home overnight.
We also run the following clinics:
- General cardiology clinic
- Heart failure clinic
- Atrial fibrillation clinic
- Rapid access chest pain clinic
In addition to these tests and clinics, we provide a variety of services, including coronary angiography and pacemaker implantation services to both inpatients and outpatients in our Heart Centre.
We take referrals from GPs. Your GP may initially refer you to see a specialist who will decide which investigations are required. Alternatively, the GP may refer you for direct access testing (ECG monitors, 24 hours blood pressure monitoring and echocardiography only).
The core opening hours of the department is 8am -5pm.
The Cardiology Department is located on the ground floor of Harrogate District Hospital, Lancaster Park Road, Harrogate, HG2 7SX.
Clinical Lead Nurse for Cardiology: Emma Edgar
Highly Specialist Cardiac Physiologist(s): Jude Burden
Cardiology Co-Ordinator: Liz Taylor
Consultant Cardiologist: Dr Mark Appleby
Acting Consultant Cardiologist: Dr Yaswin Beerachee
Consultant Physician (Cardiology): Dr Bogumila Oledzka
Specialty Doctor: Dr Matt Pennick