"Drop in facility for those with pacemaker /..."

About: Wythenshawe Hospital

I think Wythenshawe Hospital, its staff and its management do a really fine job. I have absolutely no complaints re current services. 10 out of 10 all round.

I just wonder however if a drop in facility-say just a few minutes per clinic - could be made available for patients who rely for life, on pacemakers and defibrillators, to allow them the opportunity to have them checked if a serious problem is suspected.

For example I have just suffered rather strange heart attack like symptoms and have been checked out at Bolton Royal Infirmary-thankfully all was well in that I hadn't suffered a heart attack. At the time of my admission I and the Bolton staff-didn't even consider that my pacemaker could have been the cause of my worrying physical symptoms. Now on realising that this could be the case I have to make a scheduled appointment or cause great fuss in trying to get my batteries and pacemaker checked out, taking my consultant's very able secretary off their normal busy routine.

I don't like to be a pain or a problem to anyone but if I do/did have a problem with my device through injury or sudden battery loss (Which I fully understand would be rare!) then it would be so helpful and less stressful to have a relaxed arrangement whereby the technicians on clinic days could spend just a few minutes to check out the functionality of any device and thereby reassure a patient that inevitably feels extremely vulnerable that all is well. If all is not well then only at that time would the Consultant and their staff be involved.

I know that the NHS is not cash strong but I am now scheduled to take up a full session with my consultant via their staff, which may well be better utilised. My initial experience of being told that I would have to wait a few days is wholly discouraging. Thankfully I have now been assured by telephone that batteries never just die and that pacemaker difficulties are extremely rare.

I sincerely hope that this is the case!

Thanks again for all the wonderful work with apologies to the consultant's secretary, who has been very helpful.

From my own experience, I do feel extremely vulnerable at times and wholly beholden to the 3 volt battery operated device in my chest, as wonderful as it so undoubtedly is. I therefore apologise if I have caused any offence due to my rather selfish concerns.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Best regards

Steve Tolley

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Wythenshawe Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on the NHS Choices website.

I have read your suggestion with interest and have forwarded to the Cardiothoracic Directorate management team to consider.

I am pleased to hear that all was well with you when you had your heart attack symptoms and that this was quickly resolved at Bolton.

However, I fully understand how vulnerable you must feel and am sorry that there was a few days delay before an appointment couild be made for you.

Kind regards

Patient Experience Manager

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