Earwax: Medical Treatments

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 4th December 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 24 September 2020 to Question 90063 on Earwax: Medical Treatments, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the NHS of an (a) ear, nose and throat appointment for the purpose of removing wax, (b) an audiology appointment for the purpose of removing wax and (c) wax removal carried out in a primary care setting.

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

In their nationally set prices NHS England and NHS Improvement have two prices for what is termed ‘Clearance of External Auditory Canal’. For both an ear, nose and throat and audiology appointment, the price is £127 for those under 18 years old and £103 for 19 years and over, regardless of speciality or setting.

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not set prices for primary care. No estimate can be provided of the cost of ear wax removal carried out in primary care settings. This is because ear syringing is not included in the GP Contract – it is an example of an enhanced service, and clinical commissioning groups are under no obligation to commission these. Some local commissioners have developed locally enhanced services (LES) so as to be able to offer to local practices supplementary services not already offered in the core practice contract, for which practices can seek funding. Some of these LES do include ear syringing.

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