EAR TREAT­MENT IS A LOT­TERY

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Health -

LAST week I wrote about prob­lem ear wax, say­ing that ir­ri­gation, once known as sy­ring­ing, is the best op­tion.

Dozens of you con­tacted me to say this was no longer be­ing of­fered on the NHS.

A quick Twit­ter poll of my GP col­leagues around the coun­try sug­gested that a quar­ter have stopped of­fer­ing ear ir­ri­gation. It’s a sig­nif­i­cant post­code lot­tery.

The prob­lem is, ear ir­ri­gation is not a ‘core ser­vice’, mean­ing there is no obli­ga­tion to pro­vide it.

Pri­vately, the pro­ce­dure can cost be­tween £25 and £50. A hos­pi­tal ap­point­ment may be the only other op­tion, which seems ridicu­lous con­sid­er­ing how sim­ple the ir­ri­gation is.

If your GP isn’t of­fer­ing the ser­vice, ask your lo­cal Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG) what pro­vi­sion there is, par­tic­u­larly if you’re a hear­ing-aid user for whom ir­ri­gation can be es­sen­tial.

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