UK annual check-up postponed

Tomorrow I was due to have my sixth annual device check at Barts hospital in London, but they have phoned to say they are postponing it until the Spring.  Needless to say it is because of reducing the number of people seen in a hospital clinic during the Coronavirus situation.  Last year's check showed at least 2 years battery life expected, and I know these are usually underestimates, so am not worried about the delay but thought other Brits might be interested.


Annual pacemaker check

by Gemita - 2020-10-06 17:23:05

Hello Andy,

Thank you for letting us all know of your experience.  Well we are certainly not getting back to normal any time soon, are we?

Both hubby and I attend London Hospitals (King's College hospital and St Thomas' hospital).  Both our appointments were initially cancelled, then reinstated with support of our cardiologist/EP.  I believe they assess on an individual basis depending on the condition of the patient.  I rang to ask that my husband be seen earlier because of an event that occurred.  They got him in quickly.

When I attended my appointment at St Thomas' in July, I had two physiologists looking after me.  They said they had plenty of time on their hands because so many patients were afraid to attend hospital and had cancelled.  I took advantage of their time and asked lots of questions and they told me all about my arrhythmias.  It was the best pacemaker feedback I have ever had.

I hope you stay safe Andy.

Different experience here

by atiras - 2020-10-07 09:15:50

I was due my third annual check in February, but asked to be transferred from the Bristol Heart Institute to a clinic closer to home as travelling 60+ miles in each direction was a chore, to put it mildly, and I was already seeing a cardiologist in Swindon for Heart Failure.  (He's not just a cadiologist but specialises in heart failure and pacemakers, and put in the frst 4-lead pacemaker in the UK a few years ago, so my GP was keen for me to work with him on my condition).

Got an appointment at Swindon for April -- which was promptly postponed indefintely at the end of March. Not too bothered, as -- as far as I could tell -- everything was fine with the PM and battery life the previous year had been 8+ years.

But, halleluia, I got a phone call an hour ago, asking me if I could come in tomorrow afternoon to a 'special clinic' they've arranged.  "You might be the only person there but we'll be holding it regardless  -- although people are still scared to come in" which chimes with what Gemita said.

I do wonder if it's because a consultant at the Birmingham Heart Transplant clinic raised questions about my pacemake programmeing when I saw him a few weeks ago.  Whatever, I shall be going -- gather thee rosebuds while you may, these days. Next week I have a DPD scan at Oxford to check for Amlyloidosis in the heart  -- scheduled in March, postponed three times already.  Ironically, I feel safer in healthcare settings than I do in restaurants and shops -- I'm still almost entirely self-isolating except for visits to hospitals and the GP.

Changes here too

by raynorfolk - 2020-10-12 13:05:42

I had a check up in late August and was told my next check up would be in six months. This surprised me as my prior ccheck had been three months before. I was told my battery had one year remaining - it's in it's 13th year. Normally I would receive a letter giving me a date for my next appointment shortly after the last test. In September I got a letter saying I was on a waiting list and would be contacted in due course with an appointment date. Also I found that my heart rate had been lowered from 70 to 60. I phoned the Hospital and was told that this would make my battery last longer. I'm quite happy with all this and am not looking for advice - just adding to the debate. 

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At age 20, I will be getting a pacemaker in few weeks along with an SA node ablation. This opportunity may change a five year prognosis into a normal life span! I look forward to being a little old lady with a wicked cane!