Shaping better health
REMEDY : BNSSG referral pathways

Heart Failure

Checked: 12-11-2018 by vicky.ryan Next Review: 18-06-2019

BNSSG Heart Failure Guidelines

Refer to the BNSSG Primary Care Heart Failure Guidelines for advice on investigation and referral of patients with suspected heart failure.

Also refer to section on NT Pro BNP testing and interpretation 

Community Heart Failure Service - Bristol

This service is available to patients listed at a Bristol GP Practice.

The Bristol Community Health Heart Failure Service is a nurse-led heart failure diagnostic service, which has been supporting local communities for a decade.

Service aims:

  • Provide diagnosis and management plan (including provision of Echocardiogram where indicated) for those with suspected heart failure.

  • Stabilisation of symptoms, support the optimisation of Heart Failure treatments promoting self care where possible.

  • To prevent hospital admissions. 

  • Treat patients in clinics closer to home where possible. 

  • Support the management of housebound patients at home (who have documented recent echocardiogram)

For more information on the service as a whole, please see the Bristol Community Health - Heart Failure website.

Referral to Community Heart Failure Service (for Bristol practices only)

Please see the following referral guidelines (word doc) for information regarding when to refer to the service. Referrals to the service must be made using the Bristol Community Health Heart Failure Service referral form (word doc) and sent via e-referral.

Community Heart Failure Service - South Glos.


Bristol Community Health currently do not offer the full Heart Failure Service to South Glos. GP practices. They do however operate a telephone helpline for South Glos. GPs practices open Monday - Friday between 3pm & 4pm. The number to call is 07920 701791.

Community Heart Function Service - North Somerset

The NSCP Heart Function Service is for patients who have had a confirmed diagnosis of LVSD

The patient MUST meet the following criteria to be referred:

Over 18 years of age.

Registered with a North Somerset GP practice.

LVSD with Ejection Fraction <40% as long as the patient has had an echo within the last 2 years. A copy of the latest Echo must be attached to the referral.

Referral to the Community Heart Failure Service

GPs can either refer through Managed Referrals in EMIS or by emailing the referral form (word doc) and echo to:

Self-referral from patients accepted but they must have a copy of their echo and these are often people who have been previously seen by the service.

Enquiries: 01275 885178

Red Flags

Patients with previous MI or BNP > 2000 should be fast tracked to the heart failure clinic under the Two Week Rule.

For Bristol and South Gloucestershire patients referrals should be faxed on emailed to the Community Service or ring them for advice on 01179 617153.

For North Somerset patients an urgent referral for echo should be made (see MoM pathway from the button on the left of this page) The Weston Direct Access Test Form is available as an EMIS template and should be sent to

Referral - secondary care

Bristol Heart Institute, NBT and Weston General Hospital provide consultant led heart failure clinics that can be accessed via e-referral.