Should I push to see an EP and do I need a referral from a Consultant to see one?

I have had AF for a couple of years and so far have only seen a cardiologist once, requested a new referral at last visit to GP who said no need. I was hospitalised last July with pericarditis and saw consultants for that but nothing since. Until I came on this site a couple of weeks ago I had never heard of an EP, I live on the Isle of Wight and have been trying to find one on the Island but so far no luck. This site is wonderful as I am learning so much each day but the tiredness doesn't go and that's the worst thing for me - am on beta blockers!

7 Replies

  • Hi soupersue, I am sorry to hear you have AF. I have had it for 12 years now, started with just episodes but since Christmas Day it was permanent. Was rushed to hospital on 6th February and it was found that my Potassium and Haemoglobin levels were very low. I did not know about EP cardiologists until I joined this wonderful Association and I am seeing one on the 21st February. I think you should push to see one now, is site has a list of EP's in areas but if there is not one on the Isle of Wight then see your Dr and ask him to refer you to one straight away. He will be the one to give you the correct treatment and the sooner you get his expert opinion the better. Don't leave it 12 years like I did because I did not know EPs existed until I came on here and read all the information given.

    Good luck.


  • I couldn't agree more. I too had 12 years undiagnosed and 3 T.I.A.s before I found this site. I got fed up of waiting for a cardio appointment and paid to see an E.P. of my choice ( £250 ) . It turned out to be the best thing I ever did. As a result I am now on medication that has stopped the A.F. and totally changed my life. I just wish I had done it sooner but you live and learn. X

  • YES. and now please.


  • Re EP's if I understand it correctly the GP has to refer you whether it is under the NHS or if you want to see one privately. If he does not agree to refer you under the NHS as he does not think you need to see one for whatever his reasons are, then does he HAVE to refer you if you make a request to see one privately? Would he write purely can you see this patient or can he put his own opinions in the letter saying this person is paranoid.

  • When I made my private appointment I was told to ask my doctor to refer me but in the brochure from the private hospital (The spire in cardiff ) it clearly stated that you could make your own referral. I didn't test it out as my doctor was in agreement. I suspect that if the chips were down your doctor would relent and refer you because otherwise in the event of something happening to you there could be grounds for the dreaded litigation. One of my relatives is a G.P. and says that it is hard to refuse a request for a sick note for the same reason( not that any of us want to have a sick note ! )To be honest it's worth seeing an E.P. just for reassurance and therefore your emotional well being. That's certainly how I felt about it. I would have felt happy to continue the way things were if the E.P. said it was o.k. it was knowing that I hadn't yet had expert advice that was causing my anxiety. As it turned out he put on medication which has so far transformed my life.x

  • My GP refered me to a cardiologist at our local hospital in Wales. He refered me on to an EP in England. The EP has yet to decide whether I need ablation or pacemaker. He has refered me back to our local hospital for a 7day monitor so he has the results for my next appointment with him in May.i have received a copy of the letter sent from England to Wales outlining the plan. As you live on IOW there may be parallels that you can consider. Good luck!

  • Thanks for the input, I did not know you could refer yourself, as the BMI Hospital Coventry said I needed a GP referral, will certainly enquire about referring myself if needed. AFA patient helpline said I needed to push for an EP referral or get a new doctor. I do need reassurance which I am getting in abundance on this site, I am been told by the AFA patient helpline and everyone here that I need (in my case) to see an EP asap. Brilliant support network it is helping me get through every day.

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