I am regularly asked why the NHS does not offer ear wax removal services anymore. Obviously, I cannot answer that question with authority. However, I was looking at the RNID ( Royal National Institute for Deaf People) website the other day and they have been contacted by many people asking exactly the same question. The RNID have been looking into this and found various reasons why this service may have been stopped in GP surgeries. Syringing was deemed to be unsafe and is no longer used in any setting. Micro suction and irrigation are safer methods and could ( should ?) be used in GP practices.
GPs are not incentivised to offer these services through their contracts, and the CCG's ( Clinical Commissioning Groups) are not routinely providing funding for the service to be delivered in other settings across the NHS.
If left untreated, the associated symptoms of ear wax blockage can lead to greater risk of ear infections, social isolation and depression. The RNID is concerned that people are attempting to manage ear wax removal build up themselves.
New Integrated Care Boards ( ICBs) will be replacing CCGs and will be responsible for allocating NHS budgets and commissioning services. The RNID will be working with colleagues across audiology, ENT, GPs and NHS England to find the appropriate contacts at NHS England to take this forward once the ICBs are in place. They will also be meeting with supportive MPs to discuss the issue and try to get it debated in parliament.
So, I do not think there will be any changes in the near future but welcome more NHS support in this area for people who need it, we'll see....