Now that the pressure on the NHS has eased, we are able to provide care for less urgent but still essential problems.
A lot of thought and care has gone into the re-opening of the Ear Health Clinic to reduce the risks to both patients and myself.
I am following guidance from ENT UK, the professional body which provides support and guidelines for Ear, Nose and Throat Doctors and Nurses Nationally, in both the NHS and private sectors.
We have temporarily relocated to a different building; this will significantly reduce the risk of contact with other patients as the Ear Health will be the only clinic running. As this is only 50 yards from our previous location, parking arrangements remain the same.
We have extended the appointment times to further minimise exposure between patients and to allow for enhanced decontamination of the room and equipment between appointments.
NHS standard PPE (personal protective equipment) will be employed by the clinician, specifically, facemask, gloves, apron and, where possible, goggles.
I respectfully ask the patient to wear a face covering for the duration of the treatment (this does not need to be a medical mask, homemade is fine). I do possess a limited supply if you’re unable to provide your own (this is an additional cost of £2.00.)
If you or a member of your household has had any symptoms of covid 19 (New cough, fever, loss of smell) within the last 14 days we would ask you to postpone your appointment. Information to arrange a covid 19 test is available from www.gov.uk. Further information help and advice is available from www.nhs.uk.
Finally, if possible, please attend the clinic alone unless a carer or guardian is required.
Guidance from ENT UK released 20/05/20 Microsuction (abbreviated)
“The external ear canal is not virus bearing. Micro-suction of the external ear canal therefore should not generate risk of COVID-19 transmission from the ear canal if the tympanic membrane is intact, and it is not considered an AGP (aerosol generating procedure) with respect to COVID-19 transmission.
BSO (British Society of Otology), consistent with the advice from UK’s audiology professional bodies, recommend asking the patient to wear a fluid resistant mask during microsuction to reduce aerosol in the clinic room.
When undertaking micro-suction or dewaxing in the presence of an intact tympanic membrane (no perforation) the 2-metre social distancing guideline will be breached. Appropriate PPE is required (fluid resistant mask, disposable gloves and apron) and to maintain reasonable distance the use of an operating microscope, or video-endoscope with remote screen is likely to be safest.” www.entuk.org