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Diagnosis and referral

MDT meeting

Some children are diagnosed with a heart condition before or soon after birth and others are diagnosed later in childhood. Heart conditions take many forms, some of which will require little or no treatment for a child to live a healthy life. Others, however, will need one of the many types of intervention provided by our service.

If your child is diagnosed before or soon after birth, you will be cared for by the fetal cardiology team. For more information about this service and team, please click here.

If during childhood your family doctor believes your child may have a heart condition, they will refer him or her to the Bristol Paediatric Cardiology service. You may be seen by a cardiologist in the team near where you live or referred to Bristol Children's Hospital.  If your child suddenly becomes unwell and is admitted to your local hospital with a suspected heart condition, your local team will be given support and advice from the specialist team in Bristol. This often happens via a telemedicine link. If necessary, a retrieval team will come from Bristol to assess and stabilise your child before bringing you and your child to Bristol.


Meeting the cardiologist

Your child will have a designated consultant cardiologist and cardiac nurse specialist. There are eight consultant cardiologists and six cardiac nurse specialists. Each consultant cardiologist has a designated cardiac nurse specialist.

If you live in Bristol, your child's consultant cardiologist will be one of the eight consultants who are based at the BRCH.

If you live in the south-west outside of Bristol, your consultant will be the cardiologist who comes to that locality: see list below.



Cardiac Nurse Specialist

Dr Andy Tometzki  Bath Cathy Harrington
Professor Rob Tulloh      Gloucester, Cheltenham and Swindon   

Cathy Harrington

Dr Rob Martin  Exeter Jessica Hughes
Dr Alison Hayes  Truro and Plymouth Lisa Patten
Dr Mark Walsh  Taunton Diane Barlow
Dr Michael Yeong  Barnstaple, Gloucester Jessica Hughes


Your child's care will be coordinated between the consultant cardiologist and the local paediatrician, who has a specialist interest in cardiology. This will mean that your child will be able to be seen in the outpatients department of your local hospital. However, cardiac catheterisations and cardiac surgery will take place in BRCH.


What happens next?

In your consultation, the cardiologist will talk to you about your child's heart condition and may ask to conduct further investigations such as an Echocardiogram (Echo), Electrocardiograms (ECG) or cardiac catheterisation to gather more information.

The cardiologist will also talk to you about whether they would like to monitor your child through outpatient appointments or whether an intervention should be planned.


Coming to the cardiology clinic?  Click here for more information.

Planning for surgery?  Click here for more information.

Planning for cardiac catheterisation?  Click here for more information.