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Cardiology Services

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on routine follow-up tests for people who have suffered heart attacks and suspected heart attacks; and if he will make a statement. [126007]

Provision for cardiac rehabilitation is addressed in Standard 12 of the national service framework (NSF) for coronary heart disease. This states:

"National Health Service trusts should put in place agreed protocols/systems of care so that, prior to leaving hospital, people admitted to hospital suffering from coronary heart disease have been invited to participate in a multidisciplinary programme of secondary prevention and cardiac rehabilitation. The aim of the programme will be to reduce their risk of subsequent cardiac problems and to promote their return to a full and normal life."
Service models for the delivery of this standard are set out in the NSF.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for cardiology appointments; and if he will make a statement. [126008]

Rapid access chest pain clinics (RACPCs), supported by clear referral criteria and protocols for investigation, can provide rapid diagnosis and assessment of people with suspected angina.There is now a RACPC in every acute trust in England, working to ensure that all patients are seen within two weeks of a general practitioner referral.For other cardiologist referrals, the Coronary Heart Disease Collaborative is working with local health services to support them in reducing waiting times.