Brown D To irrigate or not?. Practice Nursing. 2021; 32:(12)

Ear wax removal: inequities in access

02 March 2023
Volume 34 · Issue 3

Afew weeks ago, I had a call from my 87-year-old dad who lives in Thanet. He was contacted by a nurse – I’m not sure where she got his number from – offering to come to the house to check and irrigate his and his wife’s ears for £40. She showed them her card, which had her name and that she was a registered nurse.

As they didn’t have any ear wax, irrigation was not needed. They paid her £10 for her time. In a previous editorial (Brown, 2021), I wrote about the inequity of ear irrigation services, especially for our populations who are housebound, or who cannot afford to pay for private ear microsuction/irrigation and the adverse impact this has on vulnerable patients in our populations. As ear syringing is no longer one of the core services of the NHS, it has been moved to the category of a specialist treatment.

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