Access to an EP

I've noticed a lot of members on here regularly make reference to things their EP have said or advised them to do as though they are in constant contact with them. How does one achieve this? My GP referred me to an EP (through my Private Medical Insurance), but it was a one off consultancy. If I wanted further advice from an EP, I presume I would either have to be referred by my GP again or go privately and pay lots of dosh. How do people have an EP on tap, so to speak?

19 Replies

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  • I have access to my E.P. through my wonderful arrhythmia nurse. If i need advice I ring her and usually she can answer what I needed to ask but if she cant, she asks my E.P. and passes the answer on to me. If she thinks I need to see him, she makes me an appointment. X

  • I actually dont know what I would do without her. X

  • So my next question, is how does one get an arrhythmia nurse?

  • After waiting 8 months to see a cardiologist i payed to see an E.P. who then transferred me to his N.H.S. waiting list for an ablation. It was then I was allocated an arrhythmia nurse and told to ring her whenever I needed to. Since then she has become my first port of call. X

  • Of all the AF patients attending a hospital what is the criteria for any being referred to an arrhythmia clinic?

     I did not know they even had one at my local hospital until one day while waiting for a pacemaker check I got talking to a sister who identified herself as such.

  • I have an EP going through a referral by my Dr and I am seeing him tomorrow for the third time and I think he will discharge me as I haven't had an AF episode since October 15. I asked roughly the same question last week but mine was how do I keep him.  I will ask tomorrow have they an arrhythmia nurse at Wythenshaw hospital, so thanks Dedeottie for your suggestion.  I think Alan you would need a referral for another visit and hopefully you will keep him for at least a year like I have mine. Good luck. 

  • Thanks for the replies. It's just that I feel I am more knowledgeable on this subject now than the GPs I have seen and so I'd like any further questions I have to be answered by specialists in the condition. Maybe I'm being a bit unfair but if a GP doesn't have a clue what hawthorn does when it's supposedly one of the top heart supplements it doesn't fill me with confidence.

  • Alan, you may not get any further with an EP as they are not trained in nutrition.  I asked my EP about various supplements and he agreed that he was ignorant and that it would not be covered in any medical training but he did agree it should be!  He was quite OK with the usual ones such as COQ10,  fish oils etc but nothing else.  Have you consulted a nutritionist or a functional medicine practitioner?  They would be much more informed.

    Depending upon whereabouts in the country you live, you should be able to access an EP through the NHS, but you will have to have another referral.  I have got to know my EP through getting involved with a support group and I tend to see him privately, simply because I would wait about 10-12 months for an appointment on the NHS.  Not as bad as my NHS neuro though, I saw him 2 weeks ago and he wanted to see me in 6 months time - appointment came through several days later - for June ......- 2017!

    I pay for my consultations - about £200 for the appointment - but money well spent as far as I am concerned,

    Some areas are lucky enough to have an arrythmia nurse, in our area Devon they don't exist, but we are hoping this will change soon.

  • Okay, thanks for that. To be honest I don't have a pressing need to see an EP at the moment but it sounds as if going privately is the way to go. I am thinking that GPs don't know anything about herbal supplements, and I'm guessing those that know about the herbal supplements can't comment on the pharma drugs. It's as if each looks after their own little area with little or no knowledge of the other area. 

  • Are you sure it was a 1 off.  If your case is still open with your medical insurer then you should be able to get a further appointment.  If not open a new one with them and yes you will need a new referral.

  • Unfortunately, I no longer have PMI. I suppose I could always give his secretary a ring to see what the situation is. If I go privately I'm sure they'd see me.

  • Yes.  You ft you got on with him ok explain the situation to his secretary no PMI anymore and then your GP can do a referral to his NHS practice. That is exactly what happened to me. My EP then transferred all his private notes and test results onto NHS system. 

  • Isn't this a deplorable position "depending on where you live in the country" if you're lucky you get to see an EP referral waiting 10-12 months...it should simply be a matter of course with sufferers of AF that you are sent to an EP....we are reminded often enough about Plumbers/electricians...count your blessings if you have a GP who takes AF seriously...why should we be treated in this way .....it's simply unacceptable IMO...

  • Once you have seen any consultant once you are 'on his books' so to speak and so can see him again without further input from your GP.  And compared with feeling ill, I don't think the cost of a visit is that much, especially for those of us who are self-employed and can lose far more if we have a bad few days from any illness.

  • Not true in Alan's case if he wants to see EP on NHS but saw him privately. Even if he sees Alan privately (most consultants will without a second referral though some limit it to 1 or 2 years) and then Alan elects to switch to EP's NHS list Alan will need to go to GP to get the NHS referral. 

  • My consultant just puts me directly on his NHS list for routine things without any GP involvement at all.  I just go and see GP now and then to update him on what all the letters he gets have involved.

  • Mine insisted on a new referral to his NHS hospital when I swapped. 

  • He's just being awkward - all my five consultants in different areas of heart treatment over 6 years have swapped me back and forth between private and NHS without any paperwork.

  • My (very large and well known) insurers want a GP referral if you have not seen the consultant in the previous 6 months. That is even if the consultant says he wants to see you in say 12 months. A ridiculous situation.

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