AF Association
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Cardiology Backlog - just for info!!

There was a letter in our local paper last week about a patient here on the Isle of Wight waiting for a cardiology appointment. On phoning to query why she had not heard anything she was told they have a ONE YEAR BACKLOG, so her routine yearly appointment will probably not be for another year!

She suggested that surely this backlog must be putting lives at risk and will increase the risk of people needing major treatment and in the long run cost the NHS more.

I wonder how we on the Isle of Wight measure up against other trusts in the UK for Cardiology waiting times?

4 Replies

just had my yearly check up- actually bought forward a month (Surrey)


We don't have annual checkups for AF at our cardiology department - for lone AF anyway - but our GP practice has annual check up for anyone with a heart condition and of course regular bloods for monitoring liver & kidney functions.

I can see the importance of annual cardiology tests for some people with complications or even someone in permanent AF who may need an echo regurlary but unless there is cause for concern, if someone doesn't require treatment surely monitoring would/could be done by the GP surgery team?

The face of the NHS is changing and I believe we are going to have to get used to the idea that a lot of bells and whistles will be disappearing and there will be extra strain on the remaining services.

I am more worried about A&E under duress, we already have one hospital in the south west on the highest category of capacity - an the flu season hasn't even started. We also know that after a cull of local hospital beds in the last few years, at least 2 more centres will be closing soon, putting even more pressure on the main hospitals.

Neurology appointments are far more difficult to get than cardiology in our region, I should have 6 monthly appointments and I can't even get an appointment for 12 months. On the other hand - pulmonary care and encology is excellent.

From what I can see funding for cardiology, and electrophysiology in particular, tends to be focussed on the major city hospitals and the Home Counties were they are well funded and resourced because they are also often teaching hospitals.

In the south west we have only had a electrophysiology department in the last few years. Prior to 2014 the choice to see anyone experienced in Electrophysiology was London or Bristol.


I am very fortunate to have an excellent Cardiologist here in North Wales. My referral to an EP in Liverpool was within acceptable time limits. However other services are dire. 10 months plus to see orthopaedics.

I am now on week 83 since referral regarding my poor mobility. This has been diagnosed as cervical spinal stenosis. I am now on another waiting list to see a spinal surgeon.

Ironically my problems have been caused by their radiotherapy on my shoulder 25 years ago.


It's not so much a discrimination against hospitals in less populated parts of the country and favouring the bigger hospitals but efficient use of resources (medics and equipment) and knowledge transfer and development. This is true for many specialist areas not just ablations.

In a hospital with a single EP the utilisation can be as low as 35% per annum based on a standard working week. In the big centres they can achieve 125% or more. With bigger hospitals much more teamwork and interactions and ideas and technique developments. Also easier to cover things like sickness and other absences particularly medics supporting the EP. Also outages for equipment maintenance.


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