Earwax: Medical Treatments

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 29th July 2021.

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Photo of Munira Wilson Munira Wilson Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing ear wax removal procedures on the NHS for (a) pensioners and (b) people on low incomes.

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

NHS England and NHS Improvement recognise manual ear syringing is no longer advised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence due to risks associated, such as trauma to their ear drum or infection. General practitioner (GP) practices are increasingly recommending self-care methods as the primary means to support the safe removal of ear wax.

However, if a GP practice considers removal clinically necessary, the procedure should either be undertaken at the practice or the patient should be referred to an appropriate service depending on the arrangements in place in the local area, including for pensioners and those on low incomes. Local commissioners are responsible for meeting the health needs of their local population and should continue to ensure there is appropriate access to ear wax services.

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