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 special treatment service for sleep disorders including apnoea and hypoventilation.

Our range of lung function investigations includes:

  • 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
  • six-minute walk test.

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
  • do 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 for full details of the procedure.


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

We offer direct GP access for routine lung function test referrals.

We provide assessments for sleep disordered breathing (sleep apnoea and hypoventilation), ear-lobe blood gases, oxygen assessments and skin allergy tests.

We do not have direct access for bronchoscopies; patients should be referred to the Chest Clinic.

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 period. 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 them to wear comfortable clothing which does not restrict full chest and abdominal expansion.

For skin tests the patient should refrain from taking antihistamines at least three days before their appointment.

There may be specific prepraration instructions for more specialised tests. Please contact the laboratory for full details. Alternatively, full instructions will be sent with the patient's appointment letter.

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

Booking a patient at King's

Routine Referrals

Email the referral form (below) to

Emergency Referrals

Not applicable.

Other Queries

To arrange more specialised investigations, such as a bronchial challenge test, please contact one of our Senior Physiologists on 020 3299 3364.

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 Megan Piper Respiratory Physiologist
Miss Corinthia St Peters Senior Assistant Physiologist
Mrs Sarah Wolfe Senior Respiratory Physiologist
Ms Mary Yau Senior Physiologist (PRUH)