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Cardiac Services

The Scottish Paediatric Cardiac Service (SPCS) is based at the Royal Hospital for Children (RHC) and is the tertiary referral centre for children and young adults with heart conditions. 

The team that makes up SPCS provide cardiac surgery and cardiac catheter procedures for children across Scotland. 

Catheter procedures treat both structural and electrophysiological (heart rhythm) conditions.  There is a dedicated cardiac ward, Ward 1E, where we care for our patients. 

SPCS also provides a Fetal Cardiology service in conjunction with the Fetal Medicine Team at the QEUH to diagnose cardiac conditions before birth. 

All complex cardiac investigations are delivered at RHC including cardiac MRI and cardiac CT scan.  The team deliver both inpatient and outpatient care for babies, children and young adults up to their 16th birthday.

Our team

Our team consists of:

Clinical Director

  • Dr Mark Davidson

 Cardio-thoracic surgery consultants

  • Prof Mark Danton
  • Mr Andrew McLean
  • Mr Ed Peng

 Cardiology consultants

  • Dr Richard Ferguson
  • Dr Pankaj Gupta
  • Dr Lindsey Hunter
  • Dr Maria Ilina
  • Dr Brodie Knight
  • Dr Karen McLeod
  • Dr Patrick Noonan
  • Dr Ben Smith
  • Dr Muhamad Walayat
Registrars in cardiac surgery
  • Miss Vivian Bader
  • Mr Walid Gabir
  • Mr Mudasiru Salami
  • Mr Kazi Zahidul Hoque
Cardiology trainees:
  • Dr  Alex Fletcher
  • Dr Stavros Christoforides
  • Dr Jay Patel
Speciality registrar:
  • Dr Ahmed Kassab

 Cardiac Nurse Specialists

  • Carla McLaughlin
  • Claire Cairney
  • Emma Kiley
  • Lorraine Mulholland

 Advanced Nurse Practitioners

  • Alison Buller RGN/RSCN MSc Children's Advanced Nurse Practice
  • Donna Nelson RSCN BSc Children's nursing MSc Children's Advanced Nurse Practice
  • Natalie Smith RN, BSc hons Children's nursing, MSc Children's Advanced Nurse Practice
  • Trainee Andrea Rosa Pujazon RGN/RSCN MSc in Children's Nursing


  • Lead Cardiac physiologist: Emma Finlay
  • Caroline Bailey
  • Donna McNaughton
  • Lesley Armour
  • Emma Finlay
  • Nicholas Martin
  • Ceilidh Dunn
  • Kirsty Jackson
  • Sharon Hutchinson
  • Louise McLean
  • Lynsey McIntyre
  • Aideen Meehan
  • Charlotte McCall
  • Katie Norgrove
  • Arlene Fulton


  • Elaine Liston


  • Laura Flannagan

Cardiac Secretaries

  • Angela Lowe
  • Michelle Drum
  • Irene Davidson
  • Claire Bogle
Ward 1E team

Ward Clerk: Courtney McGarvey

Senior Charge Nurse: Louise Bell

Senior staff Nurse:

  • David Cochran
  • Catriona Whitfield
  • Julie Gill

Staff Nurse:

  • Sarah Buchannan
  • Shannan Docherty
  • Amy Douglas
  • Megan Douglas
  • Daniel Doyle
  • Rachel Fleming
  • Grace Kerr
  • Jackie Laverty
  • Danielle Longmore
  • Yvonne Maley
  • Aimei Melvin
  • Mary MacLeod
  • Christine McNaul
  • Lisa McGraw
  • Sharon McIntosh
  • Margot McLean
  • Sam Paterson
  • Emily Beckwith
  • Meg Robinson
  • Aileen Polson

Nursing Assistant:

  • Fiona Bates
  • Agnes Bonner
  • Sophie Bradley
  • Nicola Elliot
  • Jessica Hibbs
  • Leanne Marshall
  • Taylor Shannon
  • Amanda Sirel

House Keeper: Magdalena Just

Cardiac Nurse Specialists - how can they help me?

Who are we?

The Cardiac Nurse Specialist (CNS) Team provide ongoing support, information and advice to children, young people and their families who have a congenital (present from birth) or an acquired (develops after birth) heart condition. The CNS team may meet patients during a hospital admission, or at clinic appointments or may provide support and advice to patients at home.

The CNS team consists of Senior Nurses who are experienced in caring for children with heart conditions and are knowledgeable in the many aspects of care your child may need.

We may become involved as soon as a child is diagnosed with a heart condition, this may happen before a child is born. This support may continue until the young person transitions (moves on) to the Scottish Adult Congenital Cardiac Service.

What kind of support can the Cardiac Nurse Specialist team provide?

  • The support offered includes
  • Non urgent telephone advice and support (Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm excluding public holidays).
  • Antenatal (before birth) support, counselling and pre birth preparation.
  • Support for children and their families at the time of diagnosis.
  • Education on heart conditions and the necessary treatment or interventions.
  • Advice and information for your child’s nursery or school and the development of a collaborative care plan
    (if required).
  • Liaising with educational services
  • Attend outpatient clinics to support families during and, or after consultations.
  • Attending clinics to help prepare patients and families for cardiac surgery.
  • Providing children, young people and their families with written information about their condition.
  • Providing support and education during hospital admissions.
  • Assisting teenagers in the transition process to adult services.
  • Providing information about local and national support groups.
  • Liaising with other health or social care providers e.g. Community Children’s Nurses, Health Visitors, Social Work, Dietetics, Family Support, Money Advice Services, Clinical Psychology.
  • Providing bereavement support to families.

Who can use the service?

Any child, young person and their family across Scotland who has a heart condition.

Contact details

You can contact our non urgent advice line on:

Telephone: 0141 452 4925 Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm (excluding public holidays)

Please note that our advice line is a voicemail service. Please leave a message including your child’s name, date of birth, a short message and your contact number and a member of staff will contact you as soon as possible.


Should you need out of hours advice please contact our cardiac ward, Ward 1E:

Telephone: 0141 452 4438

For urgent advice or emergency care please seek this via your local GP, NHS 24, local Emergency Department or 999.

Pre-Assessment - What to expect
If you would like more information before you come to pre assessment clinic please call:
Cardiac Nurse Specialists 0141 452 4925 (Leave a message and you will get a call back)
If you become unwell (fever, cough, cold, upset tummy) or if you have or have been a close contact of some-one with Covid-19 please call:
Secretaries 0141 451 6541 (surgery) or 0141 451 6551 (Catheter procedure)

The cardiology Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) team has 3 ANPs: Alison, Donna and Natalie 

Prior to your heart procedure you may be asked to attend pre assessment clinic at the Children’s Hospital in Glasgow. Here you will meet an ANP and a nurse from the cardiology ward.

At this clinic we will be assessing that you are fit to have your procedure, as it is important that you are well with no coughs/colds/fevers or upset tummy.

When you come to pre assessment clinic it is often a busy morning and, depending on what investigations you need, it could take up to 4 hours. Make sure you bring a drink and a snack.

We will start by asking questions about how you are feeling and your symptoms in relation to your heart condition.

We also need to know about:

  • previous admissions to hospital,
  • other medical teams you may see
  • and about any current medicines you are taking (it may help to bring a list).

You will be examined, including listening to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope, feeling your tummy and take your temperature, heart rate and oxygen levels.

If bloods need to be taken at pre assessment clinic you will be offered cold spray or Emla cream, if wanted, to numb the area. The play specialist can come and help distract you or you are welcome to watch your favourite video on your device.

If an echo, ECG or x-ray are necessary you will be directed to these departments.

We will also talk to you about what to expect when you come in to ward 1E, the procedure, the recovery process and what to expect at discharge home.

Below are some videos you may want to watch before you come to see us:

Having a blood test


Having an Echo

Having an ECG

Having an Xray

Physiotherapy advice


Before the operation, it is important for your child to remain active. Unless advised otherwise, continue activities your child enjoys. If your child is under two years old this might include normal developmental play such as tummy time, rolling, cruising around the room or just general play. If your child is over two years old this might include playing games, running around with friends at nursery or school or continuing clubs and sports they enjoy. Remaining active and strong will help them recover quicker after their operation.

Children find comfort from having familiar items in with them. So, if your child has some favourite toys, comfort blankets or little bouncy chairs bring them in to help your child recover and return to activities they enjoy after their operation.


After their operation your child will go to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to be looked after until they are well enough to go back to the ward. During this time, the nurses will encourage and help you to stay close with your child as they recover. Even when they are sleepy in PICU children feel comfort knowing their family are near them. We would encourage ideas like talking to your child, reading them stories, touching them and even singing to them.

Infants (<2 years old)

When your child is well enough the nurses and physiotherapists will help your child get moving again. This might involve getting out for cuddles, sitting in little bouncy chairs or getting down on the mat to play. Even if your child is still needing help to breath or has lines attached to them they can still get out for cuddles or into their chairs. You may see a Physiotherapist whilst you are in hospital to help you and your child become confident in returning to play and tummy time after the operation.

Children >2 years old

The best thing to do to recover from surgery is start moving. The Physiotherapist will come to see your child the day after their surgery. When appropriate, your nurse and physiotherapist will help your child to move around the bed, get out for cuddles and sit up in a chair. Your child may feel a little wobbly when they first start moving but your physiotherapist will help your child to become strong to stand and walk again, gradually building up the activities they can do. You and your child will be taught how to move safely so activities can continue to be completed when your physio is not around. The more your child moves the quicker they will recover. Your physiotherapist will remain part of your child’s journey until they are nearly back at their baseline. For most children this means they are managing to get out of bed and walk with a little helping-hand from a parent.

Going Home

Once your child is home it is important to continue gradually increasing their physical activity. Your child will be tired but even playing in the garden or going for short walks will help them re-build their strength.

It is important for children to return to activities they enjoy to after their operation to remain active and healthy but care needs to be taken for their sternotomy wound. The following timeframes can be used as a guide for return to sports and activity:

Activity  Time Frame
Rough Play 6 weeks
Lifting under the arms 6 weeks
Cycling and Swimming 6 weeks
Contact sports 8-12 weeks
Return to school Minimum 2 weeks


The following leaflets will give more information about your post-op journey with physiotherapy: (insert leaflet PDF’s).

If you have any questions regarding any points please let your nurse, doctor or physiotherapist know.

Financial support for families with children in hospital (Young Patients Family Fund)

Did you know that there is financial support available to help cover the costs of visiting a child who is staying in hospital?

The Young Patients Family Fund (YPFF) is there to help families to be there for children in hospital.

Contact us

For non-urgent advice/information call:

Cardiac Nurse Specialists: 0141 452 4925

Email: [email protected]

For information about appointments, Cardiac catheter and surgery dates:


Angela Lowe (Dr Walayat and Dr Ferguson) :
Tel: 0141 451 6541
Email: [email protected] 

Michelle Drum (Dr Noonan and Dr Ilina)
Tel: 0141 451 6512
Email: [email protected]

Irene Davidson (Dr Knight, Dr Mcleod and Dr Gupta)
Tel: 0141 451 6508
Email: [email protected] 

Claire Bogle (Dr Smith and Dr Hunter)
Tel: 0141 451 6651
Email: [email protected]

For out of hours non urgent advice/information call:

Ward 1E: 0141 452 4438/9

Useful websites

NICCS (Network for Inherited Cardiac Conditions Scotland)

The NICCS website is for both patients and clinicians, to allow everyone involved in the care of someone with inherited cardiac conditions (ICCs) the opportunity to access relevant, high quality information about these conditions at their time of need. The main types of ICC are inherited arrhythmia and inherited cardiomyopathy.

British Heart Foundation

The British Heart Foundation funds research on the causes and treatment of heart and circulatory diseases.

Their website also contains information and support on a wide range of heart conditions.

Children's Heart Federation

The Children's Heart Federation is the leading UK children's heart charity, supporting children with heart conditions and their families.

Scottish Association for Children with Heart Disorders

The Scottish Association for Children with Heart Disorders (SACHD) supports children and young adults with congenital heart disorders, and their families.


Websites for specific cardiac conditions

Arrhythmia Alliance

The Arrhythmia Alliance website has lots of resources to support patients affected by arrhythmias and their families.


The Syncope Trust and Reflex Anoxic Seizures (STARS) website contains information, resources and support for those affected by syncope.

Cardiomyopathy UK

Cardiomyopathy UK is the specialist national charity for people affected by cardiomyopathy, a condition that affects the heart muscle.

The Marfan Trust

The Marfan Trust supports those with Marfan syndrome and their families. It provides educational information to raise awareness of Marfan syndrome and undertakes medical research to enable better treatment for patients.

The NHS UK website is a good information resource for a number of rare conditions, e.g.

Down's Heart Group

The Down's Heart Group (DHG) is a trustee led charitable organisation, with a primary focus on the provision of information advice and guidance support for those with Down’s Syndrome and an associated cardiac condition, their families and carers at every stage of life from pre-natal diagnosis, through to adulthood.


Information from Global Medical Centres

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Heart Encyclopedia

Experts at Cincinnati Children's developed the Heart Encyclopedia to provide information about cardiac diseases, defects, disorders and problems that may affect a child's heart. The Heart Encyclopedia also provides information about options available to diagnose and treat children's heart conditions and anomalies.


Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 20 March 2024

Next review: 28 February 2026