Angela Kenny is among the thousands of Scots currently on NHS waiting lists for a heart procedure. 

The married mother-of-three, from Clackmannanshire, first noticed problems in 2020 when she developed symptoms of atrial fibrillation (AF) - an irregular rhythm which can feel to sufferers as though their heart is "fluttering".

After a four week wait, Mrs Kenny underwent a successful cardioversion – a procedure which uses a controlled electric shock to shock her heart back into a normal rhythm.

However, in September 2023 the 57-year-old once again went into AF.

Since then, she has been unable to return to her work as a care assistant in a hospital in Forth Valley.


When she saw a cardiologist in November, she was told she would have to wait longer for the procedure this time.

She said: “They said I might wait eight to nine weeks for another cardioversion, but I’ve been living with this for four months already."

If the procedure is unsuccessful, Mrs Kenny may require an ablation instead, but the waiting times for this are even longer. 

The intervention corrects abnormal heart rhythms by applying either freezing, or applying heat, to the area of the heart causing arrhythmia. 

Mrs Kenny said: “The cardiologist told me waiting time for ablation in our area is between nine and 10 months." 

In the meantime, Mrs Kenny, who has three daughters, is growing increasingly worried.

“I have constant palpitations, am breathless, tired and dizzy,” she said. 

Heart problems are prevalent in her family.

Mrs Kenny's father died after a heart attack aged 39, and her sister Teresa survived a cardiac arrest 12 years ago and has had an internal defibrillator fitted.

Last month, Mrs Kenny experienced chest pains and called an ambulance only to be told there were none in her area and to make her own way to A&E.

Luckily, husband Brian was able to take her, but she waited five hours before finally being seen by a doctor at 3am.

She was told the pain was due to the AF.

“I’m anxious because the longer this goes on the more damage there could be to my heart, and it could ultimately cause heart failure.”