Chest Unit

What we do

We offer a wide range of routine and more complex diagnostic tests for adults and children with breathing conditions. We also offer a treatment service for sleep disorders including sleep apnoea and hypoventilation.

Our range of lung function investigations include:

  • spirometry
  • skin allergy
  • single breath diffusing capacity (gas transfer)
  • lung volume
  • bronchoscopy - as day case
  • bronchial challenge testing
  • cough monitoring
  • blood gas measurement
  • fitness to fly assessment
  • oxygen assessment
  • overnight oximetry (sleep studies)
  • continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP)
  • non-invasive ventilation (NIV)
  • hyperventilation screening
  • respiratory muscle assessment.

Preparing for your appointment

Before a routine lung function test, if you:

  • regularly use a bronchodilator (eg salbutamol), do not use it for four hours
  • use a long-acting bronchodilator (eg serevent), do not use it for 12 hours
  • use Spiriva, do not take it for 24 hours.

But if you must use your inhaler during these periods, please make a note of the time you use it and let us know when you come to your appointment.

Before your test:

  • do not smoke for 24 hours
  • do not drink alcohol for at least four hours
  • do not exercise vigorously for at least 30 minutes
  • do not eat a substantial meal for at least two hours
  • wear comfortable clothing which does not restrict your chest and abdomen from expanding fully.

If you have had any of the following in the six weeks before your appointment, please contact us as we may need to delay your test date:

  • chest, abdomen or eye surgery
  • heart attack or unstable angina
  • chest, abdominal or cerebral aneurysm
  • collapsed lung or coughed up blood.

Refer to your appointment letter for detailed information about any preparation required for all other tests.

Please bring with you a list of any medications you are taking.

If you are having a bronchoscopy, please read the downloadable patient information leaflet below for full details of the procedure.

Location

Second floor, Cheyne Wing, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 9RS

Contact Details

  • Main Reception: +44 (0)20 3299 2075
  • Chest Unit PRUH: +44 (0)1689 863104
  • Chest Unit Service Manager: +44 (0)20 3299 3364
  • Lung Function Laboratory Direct Line: +44 (0)20 3299 4743

Patient Information Leaflets

Conditions we treat

As part of the Integrated Respiratory Team (IRT) we provide a community-based spirometry service for Lambeth and Southwark residents. This service provides quality-assured, diagnostic spirometry when a clinician suspects a possible diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma. The service does not provide reviews or annual spirometry, except when the diagnosis is in question or needs to be confirmed.

All spirometry patients will be offered reversibility testing with an inhaled bronchodilator and FeNO as part of this process.

This service is directly bookable via e-RS and you can choose a number of community sites. To book, select ‘Diagnostic Physiological Measurement’ as the specialty and ‘Respiratory – Full Lung Function’ as the clinic type. The service name is ‘Community Lung Function Service – (name of location)’.

We also provide spirometry testing for children at King's College Hospital.

What is required before referring a patient

If your patient has experienced any of the following, they should wait for six weeks before having lung function tests:

  • chest, abdomen or eye surgery
  • heart attack or unstable angina
  • chest, abdominal or cerebral aneurysm
  • pneumothorax.

Before routine lung function tests patients should:

  • refrain from taking short-acting bronchodilators (eg salbutamol) for four hours and long acting (eg serevent) for 12 hours
  • refrain from taking Spiriva for 24 hours
  • make a note if they find it difficult to manage without their inhaler for these periods. If they need to take the inhaler they should make a note of when they use it and let us know.

In addition, before their test they should:

  • refrain from smoking for 24 hours
  • not consume alcohol for at least four hours
  • avoid vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes
  • not eat a substantial meal for at least two hours.

Please ask patients to wear comfortable clothing which does not restrict full chest and abdominal expansion.

Please ask patients to bring a list of their medications with them.

Booking a patient at King's

GPs should refer via NHS e-referral (e-RS) wherever possible.

Other ways to refer

Routine Referrals

Fill in the ‘Integrated Respiratory Team - referral form’ (below). The form lists how to submit the referral, depending on which service is needed.

To refer children, email kch-tr.chestunitadmin@nhs.net

To refer adults and children from outside Lambeth and Southwark, please complete the Spirometry Referral form below and email to kch-tr.chestunitadmin@nhs.net.

Other Queries

Please contact the Chest Unit Service Manager on 020 3299 3364.

Referral Forms

Please complete the relevant form and note any pre-consultation investigations required:

Key Clinical Staff

Name Job Title
Miss Mutahhara Choudhury Specialist Respiratory Physiologist - Clinical Scientist
Mrs Tracey Fleming Chest Unit Service Manager
Miss Hannah Fletcher Respiratory Researcher
Mr Alan Lunt Paediatric Respiratory Physiologist
Ms Lynne Morgan Senior Chief Respiratory Physiologist
Dr Irem Patel Consultant Respiratory Physician, Integrated Care
Miss Corinthia St Peters Senior Assistant Physiologist
Mrs Sarah Wolfe Senior Respiratory Physiologist
Ms Mary Yau Senior Physiologist (PRUH)