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Breathlessness Pathway for Coventry & Warwickshire


Clinical Scientist Led Breathlessness Pathway Community Diagnostic Centre Warwickshire North Place December 2023

Update: as of Monday 19th February 2024 the Cardio-Respiratory Unit/ Community diagnostic centre will no longer accept hand written referrals. We receive a significant number of hand written referrals that either have incorrect patient demographic information or are illegible leading to incorrect patient information being registered. This will include the following referrals:

  • Respiratory Diagnostic referral
  • Assessment of sleep disordered breathing
  • Home oxygen therapy
  • Breathlessness clinic
  • Echocardiography

About the Breathlessness Pathway

The Physiological Science Services (Respiratory & Sleep Physiology Team) within the Warwickshire North Community Diagnostic Centre aim to provide a new breathlessness pathway

A symptom-based pathway with aim to improve and streamline respiratory diagnostic services

Delivered by a team of clinical scientists with specialist clinical training in the speciality of respiratory and sleep medicine

A one stop clinic approach combining multiple diagnostics, clinical consultation, and therapy plan to patients with either an unclear diagnosis or disproportionate symptomatology

Promoting efficiency, reduced hospital visits, reduced waiting times, improved resilience within the Medical Team and improves clinic availability within Respiratory Medicine for access to specialist service such as bronchiectasis clinics and pulmonary fibrosis patients

Assessment at the Breathlessness Clinic
  • Full clinical history review
  • Observations and appropriate diagnostics
  • Discharge back to the GP with advice, management by the Physiology Team, referral for consultant review, or referral to other specialist services as appropriate
Advice & Guidance and Multi-Disciplinary Forums

As part of the new breathlessness clinic, we will also be offering an advice and guidance service

Our aim is to work collaboratively with primary care to improve patient care and management of their respiratory condition

Multi-disciplinary forums where we invite primary care providers to discuss their patient where there is any doubt, queries or concerns regarding patient outcome or on-going management of their condition


Possible Causes of Breathlessness


  • Heart failure
  • Angina/IHD
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Arrythmias

Mental Health:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety


  • Anaemia
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Thyroid disease


  • Low fitness level
  • Obesity
  • Frailty


  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • ILD
  • Pleural disease
  • Pulmonary hypertension
Indications for Referral

Breathless Pathway Referral – assess for Red Flag symptoms and follow red flag recommendations if concerns arise


Red flags – Referrals will be rejected
  • Consider 2ww
  • Consider urgent/ emergency care





Joanna Purvis Physiological sciences service manager Clinical scientist – Respiratory and Sleep

Community Diagnostic Centre George Eliot Hospital Warwickshire North Place

Email: respiratory.physiologists@geh.nhs.uk

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