Hearing Impairment: Medical Treatments

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Holly Mumby-Croft Holly Mumby-Croft Conservative, Scunthorpe

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if ear wax stringing can be made available on the NHS to patients whose build-up of ear wax is directly linked with hearing loss.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have a statutory responsibility to commission cost-effective healthcare and develop strategic clinical plans covering a wide range of health care services based on the needs of their local population.

There are a range of services known as core services that all general practitioner (GP) practices are expected to provide and enhanced services that GP practices are commissioned to provide over and above this. The provision of ear syringing is an example of an enhanced service. If a local CCG has decided not to commission an enhanced service, this may relate to population needs and value for money.

If the build-up of earwax is linked with hearing loss, then the GP practice could consider referring the patient into audiology services. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published guidelines in June 2018 on hearing loss. These can be accessed at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng98

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