Why ear wax syringing is no longer free – minister
People suffering from a build-up of ear wax are not entitled to have their ears syringed on the NHS in England, a government minister has confirmed.
Edward Argar said it was no longer one of the core services GPs are obliged to provide.
But he said if the wax was linked to hearing loss GPs could refer sufferers to “audiology services,” which can provide hearing aids.
Traditionally, wax was removed by the use of water injected into the ear with a large metal syringe.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence, which approves treatments for the NHS, now advises GP surgeries to use electronic irrigators or suction devices. If that repeatedly fails, the patient can be referred to “a specialist ear care service or an ear, nose and throat service”.
Removal of ear wax is not on the list of core services surgeries must offer, although some groups of local surgeries, or “local clinical commissioning groups”, band together to pay for them.
Ear syringing at private clinics can cost around £80.
For more details, visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-54296737