AF Association
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Waiting to see Consultant going around in circles!!

I posted a little while ago about seeing a Consultant at Exeter.

I phoned to arrange an appointment only to be told that I would be seen faster at Taunton and that I may not even get an appointment in Exeter.

The trouble is Taunton is where i was first diagnosed but then had to go to Bristol to see an EP.

I was told recently that Bristol would not see me again as I live in Devon and now out of their area.

So what is the point seeing someone in Taunton who is not an EP.

Feel I'm going around in circles.

9 Replies

Huh? you can live in Cumbria and ELECT to see an EP in Bristol. I think someone is telling porkies here.

There are others on here wiser than me on the machinations of the health service, but you can elect to go to any hospital you like to see an EP, and not sure who told you otherwise. Demand Patient Choice.

Be well



Ian the financial & political situation here in Devon is pretty desperate at present!


I think Ian is right but I'm no expert. But what I wanted to say was, that in my experience, I would not settle for anything other than an EP. I travel 60 miles into Birmingham to see mine, and I'd be willing the travel much further if I had to.

Hope you get a satisfactory outcome, looks like you will now you're armed :-)


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OK - that is difficult, I know, as I had to travel to London from Exeter to see an EP & for ablation treatment, so am just really pleased there is now one EP in Devon. Even that is an improvement within the last 2 years! My understanding is that it would be RD&E or London as Bristol has closed it's list to those outside of the catchment area now.

I know at Exeter there is a very long waiting list & that there is also hope that the one and only EP at RD&E will soon be joined by 2 others so there is hope that things will change.

You can insist on seeing who you want to see but it may take time but do keep pushing and don't give up or be fobbed off, you want to be seen at Exeter - insist on being seen at Exeter. Things do change because of patients' pressure for change.

You could also think about a private consultation, which is what a lot of people do for an initial consultation, you can still be treated on the NHS. Circa £250-300 (not including any tests) it is a lot of money for some but if you can afford it, money well spent. You would probably be seen in a matter of weeks Exeter Heart is at the private hospital in Exeter and the EP sees a limited number of patients there.

I understand your frustration and that seems to be par for the course for our NHS at present. I currently see a Electrophysiologist, a Neurologist, a Pulmonologist, a Physiologist all at Exeter and when they say I want to see you again in 6 months - for on-going treatments - I am lucky to get an appointment within 10 months. Even when I was referred for an 'Very Urgent' appointment with the Neurologist I waited about 24 weeks.

Best wishes CD


There are two EP's at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, had my two ablations there.


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PS - I help run a support group within the Woodbury, Exmouth & Budleigh area, PM me privately if you would like to be added to my mailing list. We are hoping to have one of the RD&E team out to give a talk sometime later this year.


Thanks for all the replies. I am lucky at the moment as my Afib is causing no real issues. It was my GP who said that it had been a longtime since I saw an EP at Bristol and would be good to touch base.


Having read the other replies my path to an EP was via my cardiologist in Taunton who offered me a choice of Harefield or Bristol for my ablation. So maybe seeing a cardiologist first is the way to get a referral?

I know in theory AFers are supposed to have a regular checkup with a consultant but I think in practice you don't get to see anybody unless something changes for the worse!


I get the feeling at the moment that once you are out of your own CCG's (aka Trust's) area some hospitals/ consultants / doctors try to make it difficult since that then becomes a possible way of getting extra funding and / or getting reasons as to why they have not met their targets.


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