The pulmonary hypertension (PH) service at Royal Brompton Hospital is run by the Royal Brompton pulmonary vascular unit. It's one of seven centres that make up the UK’s national pulmonary hypertension service.
Find out more about pulmonary hypertension as a condition.
The multidisciplinary team provides care for patients with pulmonary hypertension which includes:
- a full diagnostic investigation
- inpatient and outpatient management of pulmonary hypertension long-term follow-up.
Our patients are mainly from the south of England and Wales, but as a tertiary centre for adult congenital heart disease (ACHD), we also sees patients from across the UK.
We have developed a shared care service with:
- St George’s Hospital
- Southampton General Hospital
- The John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford
- Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading
- Milton Keynes Hospital
- Surrey and Sussex Hospital (at Redhill)
- St Richard’s hospital in Chichester.
Our consultants regularly attend clinics with the PH teams across these centres via video-link from Royal Brompton Hospital. Doing this helps patients through:
- easy access to information
- reduced travel time
- less need for the patient to stay in hospital
- reduced delay in referral providing investigation
- earlier treatment
Getting an appointment
To arrange an appointment at the hospital, you must be:
- entitled to NHS care
- registered with a GP in the UK
We will need a referral letter from your GP or hospital consultant. This can be sent by post. It's important that your GP includes copies of all recent investigations or assessments.
Clinics are located in Fulham Road (outpatients east or west) on the ground floor. Blood tests, chest x-rays and ECG are in the same building.
Your echo may be done in the Sydney Street building. A porter with a wheelchair can help if you cannot walk that far.
If you have not received an echo appointment, contact us on 0207 351 8362 to confirm whether you need one.
Your first appointment
On the day of the appointment, you should bring your usual day clothes to wear. It is useful to have someone with you when the diagnosis and proposed treatment options are discussed, so you may want to talk to the team about the timing of these discussions.
The first appointment may be at one of PH outpatient clinics held every:
- Tuesday (am)
- Thursday (pm)
- Friday (am)
At the appointment, you will meet the PH team and might have some initial tests, including:
You'll also have the opportunity to talk to staff who provide psychological and social support. The PH outpatient clinic provides ongoing support and treatment for existing patients.
Further assessment and investigation
Our team consists of experienced consultants and clinical nurse specialists who will discuss your condition with you and support you through the diagnosis and treatment options.
After your first appointment, we may ask you to return as an inpatient for about three to five days, so we can check your health needs and treatment options. During this time, you'll have further tests carried out to confirm if you have pulmonary hypertension. We will discuss the results of your tests with you during this admission. Depending on the results of the tests, and if a diagnosis of PH is made, it may be necessary for you to come back to the hospital for a further few days so you can start treatment. After starting your treatment you will need regular reviews of your condition. This will be done in outpatient clinics every three to six months.
The admissions coordinator will call you to arrange when this is convenient for you and discuss any logistical aspects.
You can discuss any clinical aspects with the clinical nurse specialist before you come in, by:
- ringing the PH office
Occasionally we may need to admit you urgently for further tests or treatment. Your care will then take place on one of the main hospital wards, usually Paul Wood or York ward in the Sydney Street building, under the care of the pulmonary hypertension team.
In certain circumstances, patients have agreed for their results to be used for research. This will only happen if we receive your written permission.
Find out more about the treatments available for pulmonary hypertension. In terms of medicine, Homecare, a company linked to our pharmacy team, can deliver the medicine directly to you.
If you have any problems or run out of medicine, contact the pharmacy team well in advance by calling 0207 352 4199.
Read PHA information about drug treatment options:
- pulmonary hypertension
- phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors
- endothelin receptor antagonists
Clinical drug trials
You may also be given information about clinical drug trials that you might be able to enrol in. The PH team is actively involved in multi-centre studies, which can provide opportunities not available with usual clinical treatments.
You are under no pressure to participate and it will not affect your ongoing care if you decide you do not wish to participate.
If you need a referral to another specialist for further treatment, we will discuss this with you.
Your GP or consultant who referred you will usually be responsible for your long-term support and we may ask you to return to clinic for a check-up at regular intervals.
Intervals can be three, six or 12 months and will depend on your treatment and care plan.
For example, if you are started on PAH drug therapies, you will need a follow up usually three months after therapies are started or doses changed.
This will usually include:
- clinic review
- six-minute walk test
- blood tests.
The same model applies in our shared care centres and some patients will not need further follow-up.
If you get acutely unwell at home, contact your GP. They can then contact us for further advice regarding your care.
The six minute walk test is used to measure the distance a person can walk on a flat, hard surface for a period of six minutes. For pulmonary hypertension patients, the test aims to measure their physical ability, heart rate, breathlessness and oxygen levels. The video below explains the six minute walk test in detail, alongside a demonstration, so that you can do it at home.
The PH podcast
If you would like to know more about pulmonary hyptension, this podcast by Dr Wort explains more about the condition and the work we are doing to treat patients.
We are committed to providing the highest clinical care through:
- evidence-based medicine
- up-to-date national guidelines.
Pulmonary hypertension service
Department of Cardiology, Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, London, SW3 6NP
Telephone: 020 7351 8362
Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
An answerphone is available at all other times.