A new weekly clinic for babies and children with suspected heart conditions is now available at Darent Valley Hospital.

It means residents will no longer have to wait for appointments at London hospitals for assessments and can be seen closer to home.

Ali Bokhari, Consultant Paediatrician along with Pauline Cherek, Principal Cardiac Physiologist and Heart Centre Manager, sees the children and teenagers up to the age of 17 at the Dartford hospital undertaking the necessary cardiac investigation, including scans and providing a medical opinion there and then.

Dr Bokhari has a particular interest in children’s heart conditions and has held similar clinics at other hospitals for several years.

He said: "I am delighted to be providing this new service at Darent Valley helping relieve the wait and worry for many families.

"It’s quite a difficult time for parents when waiting to find out if their child is suffering from a complex heart condition.

"At the very least, I can offer them helpful information and in many cases complete relief by seeing the child a little sooner and with not so far to go."

Sam and Richie Stroud visited the clinic with their baby daughter Sophie.

Mr Stroud added: "It's’s been a really good experience for us from the moment something was picked up to coming here now, it’s been really quick, and we’ve been informed of everything."

The clinics take place in the hospital’s Children’s Resource Centre where young patients are surrounded by staff who are highly trained and devoted to caring for them and supporting their families.

For access to the service you must visit your GP.