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Diagnosis across the region

We are the paediatric cardiac unit serving children with heart disease in both the South West of England and South Wales. Bristol is the closest unit to both areas, and has excellent motorway and other transport links. However, the geography of the region means that patients could travel for hours by road to see a consultant.

That is why we have developed a 'hub and spoke' model for diagnosis and other aspects of care. University Hospitals Bristol is the hub, providing services for referring hospitals from Cornwall to Gloucestershire. Clinicians at these hospitals are in daily and, if needs be, hourly contact with Bristol. We also run peripheral clinics in Truro, Plymouth, Torbay, Exeter, Barnstaple, Taunton, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Bath and Swindon, which specialist paediatric cardiologists from the unit attend at least once a month.

We work closely with four consultant paediatric cardiologist colleagues at University Hospital Wales, who refer patients to Bristol from South Wales.

Retrieval service

Our retrievals service can dispatch a team of paediatric specialists to anywhere in the region within 45 minutes, at any time of day or night, seven days a week.

On average, one child a day is retrieved to the unit for treatment where necessary, with a specialist consultant on hand.