Sunday, 22 September 2019

Revive ear syringing, says doctor

A FORMER doctor at Goring and Woodcote medical practice is urging health bosses to bring back ear syringing.

Patients must currently wait for a hospital referral or pay up to £70 to have the procedure carried out privately as the surgeries stopped offering the service about a year ago.

But Dr Rhys Hamilton, who retired in 2011, and the surgeries’ patient participation group are calling for it to be made available at Wallingford Community Hospital.

They say the area’s elderly population is increasing so demand will also increase and, when a patient’s ears are blocked, the wax should be removed as quickly as possible.

National guidelines state that wax should be removed by community practitioners.

Dr Hamilton said: “When this apparently minor, unglamourous service was withdrawn, many patients were upset and even outraged. Furious and sometimes abusive phone calls were made, which does not help anyone.

“Commissioning groups seem rather distant organisations but are legally obliged to listen to the concerns of the people that effectively employ them, the patients. We hope this will not fall on deaf ears.”

The practice supports the idea and says it had to stop offering syringing due to mounting pressure on staff and tougher rules surrounding the procedure.

Anyone sharing these concerns should email oxon.gpc@nhs.net

Meanwhile, patients at the two surgeries can now consult their doctor online.

The practice has joined the NHS’ eConsult scheme in which GPs may be contacted via the internet and will respond within 48 hours.

They may give general healthcare advice, guidance on a specific condition or issue paperwork like sick notes and GP letters.

It’s hoped that the move will reduce the number of missed appointments.

For more information, visit https://goringwoodcote
medicalpractice.webgp.com

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