In June 2006 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in their document ‘The Management of Atrial Fibrillation’ stated that for those patients whose atrial fibrillation was prolonged (>48 hours) that elective DC Cardioversion should be the treatment of choice for some patients. This position was reiterated in the Department of Health National Service Framework – Chapter Eight which sought to highlight the need for elective DC Cardioversions and ‘The NHS Plan’ which sought to dealing with how these new services were to be delivered to the patients themselves.

This service (often referred to as the DCCV clinic) is offered here at Darent Valley Hospital on a nurse led basis and was commenced pre-emptively of these guidelines back in 2003 and currently sees approximately 20 patients per month. Patients can be referred into the service by either their GPs (on advice of a consultant cardiologist), by our consultant cardiologists or by any of our consultant physicians.