We are a national centre for diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. We are integrally linked with the connective tissue disease service at the Royal Free and enjoy close links with the interstitial lung disease service at the Royal Brompton Hospital. We have wide experience in all types of pulmonary hypertension and provide support to other centres in the UK.
The National Pulmonary Hypertension Centre at the Royal Free started in 1995. It has grown organically over the years and we currently manage over 800 patients. We manage all types of pulmonary hypertension and have special expertise in managing patients with connective tissue diseases. We have excellent clinical and academic links with other leading centres worldwide and we frequently lecture at national and international meetings.
A growing network
In addition to the patients we see at the Royal Free Hospital in London, we support an expanding network of pulmonary hypertension clinics:
These are at the Ulster Hospital Dundonald in Belfast; Royal United Hospital Bath; Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth; St Thomas' Hospital and Kings College Hospital London and Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.
We are thus going to great efforts to bring our services nearer to the patient.
An efficient service
We aim to see new patients within one month of referral and we can often perform right heart catheterisation on the same day as the first appointment. In addition, we have three specialist nurses to provide ongoing support to patients, and we are initiating a new counselling service for patients and their relatives.
We avoid admitting patients to hospital wherever possible. For patients who live far from the Royal Free, we work with local specialists to share monitoring of the patient so that they do not need to travel here too frequently. On occasions when it’s difficult for patients who live far to come to the Royal Free we can sometimes offer an overnight stay at a nearby hotel.
Dr Gerry Coghlan is consultant cardiologist and director of the pulmonary hypertension unit. He trained in Dublin, Harefield and London. He is an international authority on pulmonary hypertension but has wide interests in all aspects of cardiology.
Dr Benji Schreiber is consultant in pulmonary hypertension and rheumatology. His research interests are in connective tissue diseases and pulmonary hypertension.
Dr Clive Handler MD MRCP is a consultant cardiologist with wide experience in general cardiology and pulmonary hypertension, on which he has published several books.
Our specialist nurses are senior, highly trained cardiac nurses specialising in pulmonary hypertension. They are a professional and efficient team and they play a pivotal role in the pulmonary hypertension service, providing patient education, support and information at the Royal Free and in our outreach clinics.
We house a vibrant clinical trials unit which enables us to offer patients access to the latest international clinical trials of exciting new drugs in development, with the close supervision and support of the clinical trials nurses.
Connective Tissue Disease Centre
We are a world renowned centre for the treatment and study of scleroderma. Led by Professor Chris Denton, a professor of experimental rheumatology at University College London, our unit boasts a large clinical and research unit with unrivalled experience in managing and investigating scleroderma.
Pulmonary hypertension specialist nurses
Patients' advice line: 020 7472 6354
GP advice: 020 7794 0500 ext 38648
Other useful contact details
Pulmonary hypertension physicians
Secretary: 020 7830 2455
Fax: 020 7443 5219
Out of hours: 020 7794 0500 and ask for cardiology registrar on call
Clinical fellow: 020 7794 0500 bleep 1404
Clinical trials nurses: 020 7317 7544
The scleroderma service
Professor Chris Denton, service lead
Secretary: 020 7830 2284
Specialist nurses: 020 7830 2326
Drug monitoring: 020 7794 0500 ext 33506
Royal Free Hospital
London, NW3 2QG
Phone: 020 7794 0500
Local-rate: 0844 8480700 (from outside London)
We are pleased to see any patient suspected of having pulmonary hypertension.
Patients who are breathless usually undergo investigations including ECG, echocardiography, pulmonary function tests, chest x-ray and if necessary CT chest before being referred for consideration of pulmonary hypertension.
Pulmonary hypertension should be considered in patients with unexplained progressive breathlessness, unexplained right heart failure or exertional presyncope or syncope. It should be considered particularly in patients with conditions that can predispose to pulmonary hypertension such as congenital heart disease, connective tissue disease, liver failure, pulmonary emboli and HIV.
If you would like to refer us a patient please send a letter together with these investigation results to us. In urgent cases, please contact the pulmonary hypertension fellow or cardiology registrar on call to discuss the case with us.