"Lack of communication to patients"

About: Kings Cross Hospital

(as a relative),

My mother had new hearing aid molds done and she was asked to have wax syringed before the fitting of new aids 3 weeks later. She started putting almond oil in her ears to soften the wax. We asked for a nurse to come to the house to syringe her ears. When she arrived, she said to use bicarbonate ear drops as they no longer syringe ears. This was on a Friday and her appointment for fitting the aids was the following week.

I contact Maryfield and spoke with a doctor who told me that many surgeries no longer syringe ears. I mentioned that the hospital had requested this and we had to attend on the Tuesday. It made no difference, I was told they could not see why wax would prevent the fitting of hearing aids.

We attended the hospital appointment and despite great efforts the team could not fit the hearing aids due to the wax build up. Too much feedback from the inner ear.

Responses

Response from Alison Moss, Feedback Manager, NHS Tayside

Dear “Bobtdundee”

I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you experienced when trying to arrange for your mother to have her ears syringed, prior to the fitting of her new hearing aids.

On reading your feedback, I made contact with both the Audiology Department and Maryfield Health Centre. As you indicate, it is important that there is no wax blocking the ear canal when patients are having hearing aids fitted and Audiologists will advise patients to use drops (olive oil / almond oil / bicarbonate of soda) to soften any wax prior to seeing their GP or Practice Nurse to have this removed.

I am advised that your mother’s Practice do try to accommodate such requests and they would wish to apologise that, on this occasion, they were unable to do so. The doctor you spoke to was correct in saying that ear syringing is not a contractual service that health centres have to provide however many, including your mother’s practice, still do.

I am also sorry for the confusion around the District Nursing team carrying out ear syringing – I am advised this is no longer a service they can provide and they will instead treat build up of ear wax with sodium bicarbonate ear drops which are normally very effective.

I hope that your mother has now had her hearing aids fitted. If this is not the case and I can do anything to help, please do not hesitate to contact me either by telephone on 0800 027 5507 (freephone) or via email to feedback.tayside@nhs.net

Kind regards.

Alison

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