Private appointments?: How’s it going people... - AF Association

AF Association

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Private appointments?

Achant1
Achant1

How’s it going people, has anybody on here ever gone private, just to get their foot in the door with an EP? Short and sweet, hope you’re all ok 👌🏻

26 Replies
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Yes, I did to cut a waiting time of 13 months to a few days. All my tests, ECG's, Echo, X-rays and stress test had already been done, so the only expense was the consultation fee of £200.

I got a treatment plan and drugs and was kept on his NHS waiting list for follow up. Best thing I did at the time of diagnosis as I would have been in a bad state with such a long wait. I was seeing a cardiologist who had tried two lots of drugs - Bisoprolol and Sotalol which made things worse. Low dose Flecainide was suggested but the EP recommended a higher dose and opened the door for ablation, should it become the best route.

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to Finvola

I’m going to be patient and see what the next few weeks bring, but if I get no joy when I have my 24hr tape, then I’m afraid I may have to go private. It’s just to get the ball rolling.

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to Finvola

Thank you by the way.

ectopic1
ectopic1 in reply to Finvola

Did you have to consent to them accessing your NHS records?

Finvola
Finvola in reply to ectopic1

The EP I saw already had access to my records as my cardiologist had referred me to him. I bypassed the long wait with a private appointment. Interestingly, he couldn't access my NHS records from the private hospital where I saw him and followed up with a telephone call the next morning.

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to Finvola

I have tried to ring my EP’s secretary but no reply yet.

yeah that's exactly what I did.

When I got referred after my AF was diagnosed, I faced a 6 month waiting time.

I searched online and found an EP that worked for the NHS and a private hospital in the area I live in, and got a private appointment.

When I saw them they took me on their books as an NHS patient and immediately booked me in for an ablation, which I had about 3 months later.

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to UScore

Thanks for your response. Wow, when was this? I don’t think anything will be that quick at the minute.

UScore
UScore in reply to Achant1

It was about 4 years ago, I've had a look back and actually although I was offered an ablation in 3 months, it was actually 6 months until I had one as I dithered for a while about whether I wanted to do it.

Am glad I did though. No AF at all since then.

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to UScore

Super 👌🏻

Yes, I went private initially and still do for my annual check-up with my cardio.

Anxiety levels have to be kept down so other problems don't creep in and this helped greatly at the beginning and still does. I get any tests done though on the NHS first and this can cause small hassles - currently my GP surgery is declining to do an annual ECG check-up and because of my long good relationship with my cardio (and that I don't have insurance to cover it) he is writing to them to request this.

So in short Yes do go private, expect a few hassles with the NHS but persevere - Good luck!

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to secondtry

Many thanks for your response, I’m going to see how my next meetings go and move forward from there.

I have gone private, I live in the nw of U.K. and there is great NHS provision at wythenshawe, but it is busy so I pay for the great private provision at the Alexandra bmi hospital.

If you can afford it I think it is a win for both you and NHS

S

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to Sfhmgusa

I can’t afford to go the whole hog, but one or two consultations I should be fine with, many thanks for your response.

jennydog
jennydog in reply to Achant1

Take Fivola's advice re tests as they can be horribly expensive. I went for help about my shoulder & they wanted to do an Xray for £230. Consultation was £200.

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to jennydog

Thanks you 👌🏻

Yes..only a few weeks ago. Rang my consultants private secretary,asked for appt. Got in the very next day!

Had half n hour with him and then will see him back in nhs clinic.

Well worth it

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to wilsond

Thanks for your response.

Having waited since last December to October to get an appointment at the Arrhythmia clinic to discuss changes in the frequequency of my P-AF episodes and possibly a different medication, I saw an EP privately in August having waited just a week for an appointment. He was the first consultant I have seen in the 3.5 years I have been diagnosed with P-AF , I usually see an Arrhythmia nurse.

The EP wanted an ECHO to check heart health before I can be prescribed Flecainide, he advised attending the clinic to have an NHS ECHO arranged .

My clinic appointment was brought forward to September and I went there to discuss with another EP having an ECHO on the NHS . He arranged for an ECHO but said it might take 6 months +.

Apparently I am now too late to have Flecainide prescribed as 'a pill in the pocket 'because my episode are too close together so if I have it the dose will be daily. I am wondering had I seen an EP earlier would I have had chance to try Flecainide as a PIP.

Last time I had an ECHO nearly 4 years ago I waited 6 weeks for an appointment and over 2 months for the results.

Yesterday I booked an ECHO at a private hospital about half an hour away, there is no waiting list, I can have the ECHO next Tuesday and the results will be emailed to my GP within 3 days to discuss with the EP who requested it . What a difference.

I think this is money well spent if I get a chance to reduce the frequency of my episoded with medication without waiting another 6 months.

I was also offered an ablation by both EPs with a 12 month + waiting list. I know someone locally who has had 2 ablations one locally (where only first ablations are done) and one in the hospital 100 miles away that is used for subsequent ablations. She is awaiting a third ablation and this elderly lady has now had to travel on trains and busses 3 times for her pre op assessment only to have the ablation cancelled 3 times.

Getting help can be a real lottery and sometimes it is worth paying to speed things up .

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to doodle68

Thanks for your response.

Yes I did. When I was first diagnosed in 2017 I had to see a cardiologist privately as there wasn't one at our hospital. I saw him twice and had a few scans etc with him. I belong to Benenden so they paid for the consultations and awarded me £1600 to pay for any diagnositic tests - think I used most if not all of that. Thankfully I moved house about 6 months later and in my new area have a fantastic cardiologist and first saw my EP privately as you say just to get in - though being the only EP in a large area his private appointments were hard to come by too and I waited a good few weeks. but would have waited 6 months or more on the NHS. I then saw him in January on the NHS and am on his list waiting for an ablation - but C19 has mucked up his list a little so still waiting don't think it will be long now although the city where he works is now in a local lockdown so not sure how that affects his list. I have had 3 CVs all of which were successful and am still in NSR since February my last CV. - lucky I got that in before C19!

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to Desanthony

Thank you.

Yes. Best £250 I ever spent. I was discharged from local hospital drugged up like a zombie and barely able to walk. Private EP got me an urgent cardioversion back at Papworth on NHS after a few weeks and then an urgent ablation two months later. One of the first they did after Covid sgutdown! All on NHS. I was so lucky.

Ps still waiting to hear about the cardioversion from my local hospital who are obviously unaware I have been treated by Papworth in the meantime , that's been nearly seven months!

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to Jajarunner

Wow 🤩 thank you.

My husband John went private to enable him to see his consultant about 6 weeks earlier than any available appointments on NHS - £250 well spent and it meant we got 20 minutes with him rather than the 3 minutes on his first NHS appointment. Mind you the 20 minutes still didn't seem long enough and we had unanswered questions but we would do this again if necessary. Why is it we never appreciate our health until something goes wrong?! If you can afford it, do it.

Achant1
Achant1 in reply to jerseygirl49

Thank you 😊

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