The Rapid Access Heart Function Clinic

(For Patients with Suspected Heart Failure)


The Rapid Access Heart Function Clinic is a service to diagnose heart failure in patients who have not previously been diagnosed with heart failure supported by cardiac imaging .

This is a nurse led service.  During the clinic appointment an ECG and an ECHO will be performed.

The patient will not routinely see a consultant cardiologist.

Treatment will be initiated and advice will be given on the management of the patient’s condition.

Patients will be seen within 2 weeks of the referral.

The clinic is based at the Royal Cornwall Hospital and is delivered 3 times per week. 


Patients with symptoms/signs suggestive of heart failure 


Previous Myocardial Infarction


NT pro-BNP>2000pg/ml


  • Patients with suspected heart failure and no previous history of MI or NT pro-BNP < 2000pg
  • If the NT pro-BNP is raised but <2000pg consider Direct Access Community Echo
  • If the NT pro-BNP is normal a diagnosis of heart failure is very unlikely and an echo should not be requested unless there is an additional indication. 

How To Refer:

  • Referral letter via RMS clearly marked for Rapid Access Heart Function Clinic
  • Provide clinical details including past history of MI and NTBNP level
  • No need to attach ECG or arrange echo as these will be performed at the clinic 

Remember NT pro-BNP is age specific - abnormal levels:

age <60 = >100pg/ml;  age 60-75 = >200pg/ml; age >75 = >400pg/ml.


For full guidelines and other referral pathways see Heart Failure page.


Date reviewed                     01/04/2019

Next review due                  01/04/2020

Sifter name                          Elizabeth Fell

Contributors                        Dr Louise Melley – Assistant Specialist Cardiology RCHT


Version 2.1