Arrhythmia Alliance

Are GPs really interested in hearts?

I am a 57 year old slim gent, a few years ago when I was 20 I was running and had a crushing pain right across my chest, I was sick and passed out, next thing I knew I am in an ambulance and spent two days in Hospital. No diagnosis was given. Roll on a few more years, all my doctors notes which had followed me through my life went missing, at the time I left the RAF. I am then on a high dose antibiotic for acne, (though I have since proved it to be gluten intolerance) I am seeing a heart specialist for Arrhythmia privately who has me visit every three months, for a chat mainly, costing me £20 and BUPA £100. I stop paying my BUPA and ask to be seen under the NHS. The NHS specialist sees me once, I ask if the antibiotic could cause the arrhythmia as I had read something to this effect, he said not, his trainee disappeared and came back saying that the antibiotic will cause an arrhythmia. The specialist then says I do not need to to be seen again. I stopped taking the antibiotic. The arrhythmia continues and over the years is more frequent and lasts longer, last night my heart never beat properly for two minutes just thumped at roughly twice the speed of normal, causing me to gasp for air, which was an odd feeling as I was lying down at the time. I last saw a doctor a year ago asking if this 'thumping' was normal as my father had a heart attack at 37 and died at 75 cause unknown but either another heart attack or stroke. I was made to think I was malingering. and sent away. Do I go back to the GP or carry on? Note- last time I called for an ambulance (after a botched operation/infection by NHS) it took 2hrs 40mins to arrive by which time I was delirious due to the blood poisoning. I feel for my wife if she has to call an ambulance while my heart is not working!

2 Replies

You need to get a continuous ECG recording to include a problem episode.

I was having increasingly frequent spells of ireg suggestive of Atrial Fibrillation.

A 24 hr "ambulant" ECG was normal. I had an appt for ECH at local hosp. but before that date another episode of irreg came on so I phoned the ECG dept who agrreed to see me right away - friend drove me to the hosp - the ECG was typical AF. so I soon got onto warfarin to reduce risk of small emboli. I have been clear of AF now 4 years but continue frequent atrial ectopic beats - which cause no discomfort nor activity llimits.

My guess is you are suffering occasional AF and require treatment.


I believe that AFA has previously commented that AF is not taken seriously in most of the UK.

The NHS seems to be in a meltdown at the moment so it's not a good time to need their "care".

Having been treated in an American heart hospital (McConnell Heart Hospital, Columbus, Ohio)

Since returning to the UK I have found the level of cardiology "care" to be abysmal in comparison.

The emphasis in the uk appears to be on protecting budgets rather than people....


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