Dr Justin Carter

Why see a cardiologist privately ?

It’s a good question. You’ve ‘paid your taxes all these years’, why should you need to see a cardiologist (or any other consultant) privately?

The answer is that you won’t always need to but might sometimes choose to for various reasons:

No waiting to access one stop cardiac care:
In my private cardiology clinic, you can expect to be seen quickly (usually within a week) through a smooth and responsive process which will allow you to choose a date and time convenient to you.
I offer evening appointments to help those with a busy work schedule. We will coordinate any tests you might need so they take place at the same time as your appointment to minimise the number of visits to hospital and disruption to your work or home life. If your circumstances change, moving your appointment and associated tests is easy and convenient and wont put you to the back of a long queue! Once you’ve been seen, I have an efficient admin team. A report on your condition will be dictated, typed and sent to you and your GP within a few days of your being seen.

Take time with an expert to consider the issues:
There will be enough time during your consultation for you to get a good understanding of the issues and to be sufficiently informed to weigh the options so you are directly in control of how we proceed with your health. The key message here is that we won't feel rushed during your consultation.

Choose the best places to have tests and treatment:
I’m lucky enough to have trained in the North East. I have working experience of both regional centres and many of the district hospitals. I know the region and its cardiac services well. I work both at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS trust, but I’m also an interventional cardiologist working at James Cook University Hospital. As a result, following your initial consultation and investigation with me, if you need specialised care, I will independently advise and guide you to the best place to receive this care. You'll get carefully considered advice and prompt delivery of some of the world’s most up to date investigation and treatment.

There is quite a spectrum of expertise and technical capability across any region. As an example, cardiac CT scanning is becoming a very important way to prove whether or not you have coronary artery disease (which causes angina and heart attacks). As it’s a developing area, there is a lot of variability in cardiac CT across the country. North Tees has one of the world’s most advanced Cardiac CT scanners (public or private) which means the best possible image quality (hence diagnostic accuracy) at the lowest possible radiation dose (hence risk to you). So if I needed a cardiac CT, that’s where I’d choose to have it.
On the other hand, James Cook has some of the UK’s highest volume cardiac catheter labs (public or private) and for many cardiac interventions, there are few places better to have that kind of treatment. So if I needed that aspect of care, that’s where I’d choose to have it.
When it comes to complex cardiac imaging or procedures, when chosen carefully, these large NHS centres are far superior in volume and quality than small scale private facilities seen in parts of the country.