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Earwax: Medical Treatments

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 90063, tabled on 15 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons earwax removal is no longer routinely available on the NHS; and whether he has made an assessment of the economic effect of that matter on (a) elderly and (b) hard of hearing people who rely on regular earwax removal.

Answered on

24 September 2020

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 clinical commissioning group 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 at the following link:

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

This contains a specific section on earwax removal which is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng98/chapter/Recommendations#removing-earwax

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care