Skip to content

Chest Unit and Lung Function

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 sleep diagnostic and treatment service for sleep disorders including sleep apnoea and hypoventilation.

Our range of tests and treatments include:

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

The department also offers a Community Spirometry Service for Lambeth and Southwark GPs.

Preparing for your appointment

Before a routine lung function or spirometry 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.

Before your bronchoscopy:

Please read the patient information leaflet below thoroughly for full details of the procedure. Do not eat or drink for four hours before your test.

If you are diabetic, phone us for advice on 020 3299 4743. You may be asked to reduce or stop taking diabetic tablets and insulin on the day of your test. If you use inhalers for your breathing, use them as normal. Please bring with you a list of any medications you are taking and tell us if you are allergic to any drugs.

Useful resources

The following organisations provide further information about breathing conditions:


Chest Unit: Second floor, Cheyne Wing, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 9RS (opposite Todd Ward)

Lung Function: Second floor, Cheyne Wing, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 9RS (opposite Davidson Ward)

The Chest Unit and Lung Function Department are open from 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Community Spirometry Sites:

  • Deerbrook Surgery, 216 Norwood Road, London, SE27 9AW
  • Herne Hill Road Medical Practice, 1-3 Herne Hill Road, London, SE240AU
  • Tessa Jowell Health Centre, 72H East Dulwich Grove, London, SE22 8EY
  • Acorn and Gaumont House Surgery, 153 Peckham High Street, London, SE15 5SL

The Community Spirometry sites operate on different days over the week.

Contact Details

  • Main Reception: +44 (0)20 3299 4743
  • Chest Unit Service Manager: +44 (0)20 3299 3364
  • Chest Unit Admin Team: [email protected]
  • Lung Function Laboratory Direct Line: +44 (0)20 3299 4743

If you have a question about your CPAP or BiPAP treatment, please email the Respiratory Physiology Team: [email protected]

Patient information leaflets

TitleFile SizeLink
Bronchoscopy48 KB
Guide to using your DreamStation CPAP machine and humidifier537 KB
Lung function tests155 KB
Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) at home – A40 AVAPs590 KB
Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) at home – DreamStation ST/AVAPs401 KB
Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) at home – Nippy 3+898 KB
Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) at home – Nippy 4/Nippy 4+464 KB
Sleep hygiene28 KB
Sleep studies142 KB

Conditions we treat

The Chest Unit and Lung Function Services based as King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust only accept internal referrals via the Trust’s Electronic Patient Record.

The community-based spirometry service for Lambeth and Southwark 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 testing, 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.

We also provide spirometry testing for children referred by their GP 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

Booking a patient for Community Spirometry

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)’. Please complete and attach the Integrated Respiratory Team referral form below to the eRS referral.

To refer children, email the Diagnostic Community Spirometry form below to [email protected]

Other queries

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

Referral forms

TitleFile SizeLink
Diagnostic Community Spirometry referral form1 MB
Integrated Respiratory Team referral form145 KB

Key Clinical Staff

Name Role
Mr Robert Crickett Highly Specialised Respiratory Physiologist
Mrs Tracey Fleming Chest Unit Service Manager/ Senior Chief Respiratory Physiologist
Ms Lynne Morgan Senior Chief Respiratory Physiologist
Ms Claire Wood Principal Respiratory Physiologist