How Do You Choose The Best Centre to Treat Atrial Fibrillation?
The best units for cardiac electrophysiology are defined by the quality of the cardiologists within the unit. All across the UK, there are many centres which provide excellent AF care. One top tip when checking out a hospital is to navigate to the consultant group or cardiology department and understand if there are one or more cardiologists with an interest in arrhythmias (cardiac electrophysiology). This can normally be easily checked out by clicking on the hospital’s website, and sub-searching the tabs à departments à cardiology à meet the team.
Here are a few examples:
Imperial College Healthcare (Hammersmith) https://www.imperial.nhs.uk/our-services/cardiology/electrophysiology-and-devices/meet-the-team
St Bart’s Hospital: https://www.bartshealth.nhs.uk/cardiovascular
Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital: https://www.lhch.nhs.uk/our-services/cardiology/heart-rhythm-management/
One Welbeck Heart Health: https://onewelbeck.com/cardiology/cardiologists/
But please feel free to search in your local hospital’s department under cardiology, specifically looking for the “heart rhythm” or “arrhythmia” departments.
In general, the more electrophysiologists within a unit, the more likely that unit is able to offer high-quality care for patients with AF. The second step would be to understand if there are catheter laboratories within the hospital that are focussed on performing electrophysiology and ablation procedures. Additionally, to identify centres of excellence, or cardiologists who are rated highly within electrophysiology, look for research productivity which demonstrates that the hospital (or group of cardiologists) is engaged in research in development to understand how best to treat AF.
To summarise, to choose the best centre to treat AF.
- Does the hospital have electrophysiologists?
- Identify if the hospital has a catheter laboratory where AF ablation is performed (therefore typically attracting a good team who perform the ablation.
- Identify if the electrophysiologists within that department perform any research on AF.
It may be that if there isn’t a centre local to yourself, that you should try to seek a good electrophysiologist for an initial opinion. In the era of COVID, most consultants will offer online or video consultations on zoom or skype to be able to provide you with a comprehensive plan to help with AF management (, wherever you are.
Once you have identified a unit which as an EP team, it’s worth searching up a profile of the cardiologist you would like to see. Google search terms such as “electrophysiologist in Liverpool/London/UK) and you will be able to find out more about the local electrophysiologists in your region. If you know the specific name of your cardiologists, you could always try searching up your local cardiologist’s name on Google to find out more about their profile, including research profile.
Useful sites such as those listed below can help you identify cardiologists with good reviews (I want great care) and to assess academic output (Research Gate).
I Want Great Care: https://www.iwantgreatcare.org/search?search=cardiology
Academic / Research : https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Phang_Boon_Lim
To make an appointment to see Atrial Fibrillation Specialist Dr Boon Lim , one of London’s leading electrophysiologist to discuss AF management, please get in touch on