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Heart Diseases: Diagnosis

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 45248, tabled on 2 September 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to support the increased use of stethoscopes in (a) primary care settings and (b) CDCs for the detection of heart valve disease.

Answered on

7 September 2022

NHS England has assessed that clinical auscultation using a stethoscope is insufficiently sensitive to identify the presence and clinical significance of heart valve disease. Clinicians are expected to consider the history of the patient and undertake an examination to ensure the appropriate test is requested, which would normally include auscultation of the heart, with other assessments such as blood pressure. While some community diagnostic centres may have facilities to examine patients, its aims are to provide diagnostics tests such as echocardiograms.

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