Glad to find I'm not the only United Kingdom GERD sufferer!
I'm still trying to wean myself off antacids - now just on Zantac (Ranitidine). I too wish I'd never started on them and I really think their long term safety should now be under question. I wasn't on them for long (6 months) but just in that time I had terrible side effects. I hate the choice of system wide side effects and no reflux, or fried oesophagus and no side effects! Is that REALLY the best modern medicine has to offer?? What kind of solution is it anyway; ppis don't fix the reflux, they just take the acid out of it!!
I've been discharged from my consultant - I'm not bad enough for surgery and was told to "persevere" with medication. The side effects made life unbearable so I'm on a constant quest for a natural solution. My consultant had nothing further to suggest - either medicate and suffer the side effects, or don't medicate and suffer the GERD. Maybe they just think I'll poll up in a few years when I'm eligible for surgery!
Baza - if you choose your surgeon and have a private consultation with them, they should be able to refer you to their own NHS clinic (they literally write a referral to themselves). I did that for a different problem (like who needs other problems on top of GERD?!!) and phoned the NHS appointments office and insisted on "continuity of care". My appointment was slower to come through cos my consultant had the longest waiting time, but I did get my treatment on the NHS that way