British Lung Foundation

Lung specialist

Hi all I have now been waiting 10 weeks not to see a lung specialist, but just to get on a list to make an appointment to see one in East kent, I have ask my doctor about going elsewhere , but has told me it's much the same all over the Uk. Is anyone else finding this. I have wrote to my mp he has told me he is waiting a reply from the East Kent trust.


14 Replies

I live in East Kent Peter - Whitstable - but i see a consultant in london where i used to live so can't answer your question.

This delay is not acceptable.

BUT there is a brilliant specialist respiratory team and i think you can self-refer - you used to be able to anyway. You could still call them and ask if they know about waiting times, and whether it would be appropriate for you to see one of the nurses there while you are waiting for your consultant appointment - there are tests they can do which are the same as at hospital, e.g. spirometry, and they are very knowledgeable. They hold clinics around East Kent.

There is so much pressure on the NHS now that this might be a target-meeting strategy to keep the waiting list numbers down and make sure patients see the consultant within the specified time but its so unfair on people like you who are needing an appointment.

I'll check the respiratory team number and post it shortly - breakfast calls and blood sugar low, but i will return.

Hope others may come along and share their waiting list experiences so we can get more of a picture around the UK. I wonder if your GP is being sufficiently proactive. Has he/she referred you as an emergency or urgent referral? That might speed things up. Im really surprised at what you've said, as Ive had various referrals to consultants in East Kent for non-lung things and I've been seen within the month, so don't know what is going on here.

(Have edited to clarify bits :) )


Hi Peter, just phoned the respiratory team. The number is 03001231412. You can still self-refer but the person i spoke to said its better for the GP to refer as then they have all your details. All it takes is for GP to send email/fax saying "please can you review this gentleman" (i quote!) How simple is that?!

I forgot to ask how long their waiting list is, but I'm dead sure you wouldn't be mucked about like you are currently.

But someone would speak to you anyway if you do want to call them directly yourself - maybe that would be reassuring, best times to get through apparently are between 9 and 10am, and after 3.30.

They didn't know if your waiting list experience is the norm now. Im going to call my friend in the Breathe Easy group (do you know about that?) and see if members have experienced anything similar.

Good luck :)

1 like

Thank you so much, I will get in touch today and see what they can doi really appreciate all the effort you have put in for me thank you. I will get I touch and let you know how I get on


A pleasure peter, hope it works out, look forward to hearing.


If you self refer, they just get your permission and Gps and link into all of your records anyway. They also add to and write to your GP through the system.


Hi Peter, I live in Wiltshire and got to see a specialist in Bath after waiting about 8 weeks.


Thank you for the information appreciate


Actually my next 6 monthly appointment with my cons was due in November, but I haven't heard anything.....I was going to phone up about it, but at the moment I don't have any urgent need to see him AND I know the hospitals are snowed under with flu etc patients...and also I know the hospitals are not the best places for people who 'pick things up easily' so I am actually glad not to have to go to my appointment at the moment. I think it best to avoid hospitals unless you REALLY feel the need to go to see a consultant.

Hopefully they will be safer place to go in the spring


I understand where your coming from, but if your doctor has referred you then he must feel there is a need


Hi appointment is a regular 6 monthly appointment with the used to be yearly but as I got more severe it became 6 monthly ..I don't have an urgent need to see my consultant at the moment

My case is not like NEED to see a consultant , 02 has given you great advice I would follow up her suggestions

I was just replying to perhaps explain why I personally was not pushing to go to a hospital at this time, and to try to make you feel a little better about your delay

Hope you get sorted out soon


Refer yourself to your local Respiratory team. They make house calls and generally have a specialist on their team. They will slot you in earlier. They are the best people to get in touch with and keep in touch with.


No problems in West Sussex. We never seem to wait long for anything - or is that just me? Perhaps it's because I'm just gobby? LOL


hi peter I haven't seen one as well I have been waiting since sept I got to wait until april xx


Thanks Penny, I know how you feel, but if I had date I would not mind so much it's just not knowing I can't stand xx


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