Echo waiting times: I assume it varies... - British Heart Fou...

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Echo waiting times

Qualipop profile image

I assume it varies from area to area but has anyone any idea what the waiting time is for an echocardiogram? Non urgent.

My diastolic pressure has dropped really low so my GP has referred me for one..

67 Replies


Haven’t had my yearly echocardiogram since the pandemic, but have an appointment for 1st June 2022, it’s for my 5 year review with the cardiologist though it will be 6 years by then and the letter says it’s for an echocardiogram as well. I am in Scotland so maybe completely different to England.


Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to 080311

Crumbs I hope it's not a year.

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to Qualipop

I am sure you will be quicker than that, mine is just a check up. My letter arrived 6th June this year and when I read it thought well I will have to phone as I have missed the appointment! The appointment was for the 1st, then suddenly saw 2022, now that gave me pause for thought 😂

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to 080311

I know our area is way behind. They had the highest covid rate in the country.

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to Qualipop

Maybe keep reminding them if you don’t hear.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to 080311

Wouldn't know who to contact. If it's as good as MSK I won't hold my breath. I was referred 5 or 6 months ago for excruciating pain down my legs; can't walk at all first thing. I haven't heard a word.

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to Qualipop

Do you know at which hospital you are going to? If you do the cardiac department there explain you are waiting for a echocardiogram and can they estimate what the waiting time is likely to be.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to 080311

Yes I do but it was a routine referral so I don't want to pester hem. I just wondered how long appointments were in general as tere are so many cardiac delays.

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to Qualipop

You won’t be pestering them just asking what the waiting time is. Xx

Jocastina profile image
Jocastina in reply to Qualipop

I agree, it’s not pestering, it’s perfectly reasonable to just ask how long you should expect to wait. I had to reschedule one recently because I couldn’t attend due to a stomach bug, and they booked me in for 2 weeks later. However I also had an appt booked with cardiologist booked for a week after that and needed to have the echo before talking to him, so I don’t know if they squeezed me in for that reason. I’m in London.

Ring the echo dept and ask to be put on cancellation list, I got a phone call offering me one the following morning ( London) The wait post referral was going to be 4 weeks originally. good luck.

Lupaal profile image
Lupaal in reply to Qualipop

Just over a couple of months for me.

hamptonian profile image
hamptonian in reply to 080311

As someone living in the States it seems unbelievable how long you have to wait for such a simple test as an EKG. Most doctors here have the EKG monitor their office. Never had to have one in a hospital unless already in. Always done for a checkup or on request. Takes 5-10 mins.

Heed1961l profile image
Heed1961l in reply to hamptonian

Hi, It's often confused but, an ECG/EKG is different to an Echo, which is only done in hospital. Normally takes 30 mins or so.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to hamptonian

This isn't an EKG. Most GPs have their own machine. This is an echocardiogram; an ultra sound scan of the heart.

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to hamptonian

I think you have read it wrong ECG are done at the GP surgery here in the U.K. as well, but echocardiogram are done in hospital. Qualipop is having a echocardiogram not ECG.

hamptonian profile image
hamptonian in reply to 080311

OkI got it wrong. Sorry about that. My mistake. However when my cardiologist wants me to have an echocardiogram it’s done by a trained person in that medical group not in a hospital. It’s not fancy equipment. Takes about 15-20 mins. I get doctors report online. To get appointment takes a few weeks. I’m on Medicare - like NHS for over 65s - so it is free.

GL1975 profile image
GL1975 in reply to 080311

I had mine last month which was from a referral in March, so 6 months. Hope you don’t have to wait as long.

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to GL1975


Think you posted to me by mistake, should have gone to Qualipop.

Best wishes Pauline

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to GL1975

I hope so too because my BP is continuing to drop. Normal for years has been around 175/72. It's now dropping t o 112/54 at times; averaging around 119/62 even on half dose tablets. To me that's a heck of a drop yet the BHF nurses said it was fine. I have a GP appointment on Friday.

Hi qualipop I was referred for an echocardiogram as I had been referred through a&e I received an appointment 6 after which I thought was really good then two weeks later received a call from my GP I live in Rossendale Lancashire I suppose if it’s routine maybe it takes longer but if for any other reason like you have have been referred then I suspect it will be quicker hope your feeling ok soon 😊

Mine will be at Blackburn and yes my GP made a point of telling me it was a routine appointment, done after advice from the BHF nurses here. I'm not expecting soon- just wondering. I just had a CT scan within a week of referral and an endoscopy within 10 days so some things are working. Mind you they were for a suspicious lump. Routine will take much longer.

Hi Qualipop

I came to the conclusion many moons ago, that it depends on how urgent they view you once a Cardiologist has reviewed your case. I've never had an Echo following a GP referral, as mine have always been at the instigation of a Cardiologist or Surgeon, so that may make a difference. My latest was at a couple of weeks notice in April following an A&E visit, which may have been a coincidence. I'm due another before the end of the year, and I'd be surprised if I don't have one. That said I have two appts with Cardiolgists at different hospitals coming up, so I'm on the radar and being well looked after.

I hope you get an appointment sooner rather than later.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Heed1961l

I'm not on any radar. It's 3 years since my HA and stents and I haven't seen anyone since but it doesn't sound too bad from what you say.

Mine was a review echo so not urgent, I got it within 3 weeks but my hospital are usually really quick with appts.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to bantam12

Wow that was quick. I suppose it depends on what's deemed to be wrong.

Mine was 3 week wait time

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Boo_boo1

WOw, quick. I Had a referral to musculoskeletal in June. Not a word until I rang today. They'd lost me. I now have a phone consult next week. It pays to check.

I was referred on August 18th and had mine 4th of September, Merseyside

Slightly different,

but GP telephone appointment on the 6th October Face to Face appointment on the 8th she said I needed a chest x ray !!! Chest X-ray today 12th October. So Bournemouth Hospital is back up and running !!

She also wrote to Cardiologist to say I need an appointment which should of been in June so waiting to see when that will be !!

Hope you get an answer soon


Some places are obviously getting back to normal. I've had cancer investigations within days but others are really slow. Urgently need ENT and they've shut down here for a month. Should have gone in July.

I was referred for an emergency echocardiogram three weeks ago and haven’t heard a thing.I’ve phoned the department a few times but always get an answerphone, no one replies to my messages.

Guys and St Thomas.

I waited about 4 weeks, was told it had to be within 6 weeks. I didn’t think mine was urgent but maybe it was. This is north west.

I'm east Lancashire and from cardiologist appointment end of May, I have an appointment for a non urgent echo next week. So roughly 4.5 months.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Ascb

East Lanc's too so it will probably be similar to yours. Thanks

Ascb profile image
Ascb in reply to Qualipop

Actually, just checked and it was end of July I saw the cardiologist. So 2.5 months! Sorry 😬

I've been told at least 5months in Bedfordshire

My cardiologist referred me for one on 27th Sept and I've got an appointment for 27th October. Im in Surrey. Hope you don't have a long wait 🤞


I work in the Cardiology Department (Scotland). It depends firstly on whether its urgent or not. There was a huge backlog because of covid and waiting times were really bad but that's almost sorted out now. If only routine I think it will be a couple of months, depending on how busy the department is where you live.

Hubby referred fir a non urgent echo in May. He hadn’t had 1 since HA 4 years ago. Also waiting for a cardiologist appointment ( no sign of that so booked privately) . Got a call last Weds afternoon to say could he get for an echocardiogram on Thursday at 9🥺. Awaiting results. Yorkshire. Good Luck

I live in Lancashire and my non urgent appointment has taken about 2 months

Hi ask your Gp practice for best number to ring to ask.I did back in Feb no probs.If you can contact your practice electronically maybe best.I was told 3.5 months.I wanted to rule out heart failure so paid privately .£426 at spire with specialist report.Took about 10 days in all.This was with Leeds TH.

They couldn't even give me a month for my Echo so i opted for a private one.

Gfern profile image
Gfern in reply to Farmer87

What is the cost for private one?.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Gfern

kkatz in the post above said £426

Farmer87 profile image
Farmer87 in reply to Gfern

Mine was £210 - I guess it depends on your area / where you live.

I was to get echo and 3 day heart trace within 2 weeks of my two mini strokes (that’s the normal as it’s urgent) however got appt for the echo 9 months later and still waiting on heart trace

That's shocking. I would complain

I’m waiting for one at the moment and have been on the list since June. At the moment the waiting list in South Lanarkshire is 28 weeks.

Many thanks for all the replies. It obviously varies a lot from area o area and depends on how urgent it iis. Looks as if mine will be a few months. I suspected that was why the GP pointed out hat it was "routine".

Was diagnosed in Jan this year with SVT- waited 6 months for Echo which came back ok much to my relief but still go into SVT/'Heart Surges/'Flutterings'

Can I Sk how long it took to get the results back after, I'm having one this week and dreading waiting for the results.

I had one earlier this year and assumed that my Doctor would get in touch with me to let me know the results, but I was wrong. I called them myself and was told the results so it may have taken longer because I was waiting for them to contact me. I would ask when you have the scan how long you'll have to wait for the results - they are very helpful.

Thank you.

Our GP has their own ECG machine so can organise it really quickly. A Health Care Assistant is trained to use the equipment so they don’t need to ask a qualified nurse either.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Arrowe

An ECG is not the same as an echo scan. Only hospitals have those.

My stress echocardiogram was referred in May but not carried out until two weeks ago after my follow up with the hospital cardio dept secretaries who said the referral had not been made in May (following two A&E visits with chest pain). Now waiting for results after three weeks and suspect I will be chasing these up as well. I have heart failure but no regular follow up - my local cardiac care unit discharged me in January this year after a telephone consultation.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to marvelman

Sounds like my experience with Musculo Skeletal. Is your GP happy that you were discharged? Could he not step in to chase up results? When I'd been waiting for several months for some results, my GP had his secretary phone the department every single day for a week until he got them. I'd go mad if i was just dumped with no support for heart failure.

Hi there, I saw consultant last week and he told me we have a 3 month waiting list for echo. I’m in Somerset area. I imagine different waiting times for different areas but hope this helps somewhat 😊

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Bluebell67

That's roughly what I guessed.

I was lucky that there is one at my GP although when i arrived the GP called an ambulance so i had one as soon as i arrived at hospital.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to KaysyP

I wouldn't call being taken in by ambulance lucky LOL. When I had hte heart attack I wasn't given one until about 5 minutes before I was discharged. She said then, 3 years ago, I was lucky she'd caught me or it could have been months before I was called back. That was to see how much damage had been caused by the heart attack. I wouldn't have liked to wait months to find out.

Well, been taken off the tablets completely after 20+ years and BP ( Diastolic) is still low. I had expected my BP to rise. Still haven't spoken to a doctor; only the pharmacist who just told me not to check my BP so often. I only do it twice a day


I am in the uk (North West).

I was referred and I had an appointment within 2 months.

Currently waiting on the results.

I hope all is well.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to TS22

That's not bad. Since my tablets were stopped, BP has been ok but I've developed palpitations which I hadn't had for several years.

TS22 profile image
TS22 in reply to Qualipop

If anything changes I would just ensure your GP has up to date information, but from reading the above it is generally a few months.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to TS22

OH I'll do that. The pharmacist is going to text m,e next week anyway.

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