Experts at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) saw nearly 100 children in a day when a special clinic was held to help reduce waits for families which had built up during the pandemic.
The glue ear clinic was run by the trust’s Paediatric Audiology Team,for children with hearing issues. Normally, these young patients would be seen one at a time, but the team decided to trial a Saturday clinic to help more children — faster. .
Ninety-six children were invited; 49 were discharged, 25 were to be reviewed again, parents cancelled nine appointments and 13 did not attend.
The clinic, held at Heathside, Coxheath, had various testing stations and a one-way system in place, to be COVID-19 safe.
Glue ear is where the empty middle part of the ear fills with fluid. It can cause temporary hearing loss, but usually clears up within three months.
The aim was to make sure children were able to have two assessments, ideally 12 weeks apart, to give them and parents reassurance or so they could be referred to the local ear, nose and throat (ENT) department, if necessary.
The clinic was organised by Bryony Morgan and Donna Hansen from KCHFT’s Paediatric Audiology Team, with support from Nicole Marshall and Joy Nebo, lead paediatric audiologists.
Joy said: “We received positive feedback from parents who would have been keen to know what was going on with their child’s hearing. As a team, we were pleased to reduce the number of patients waiting for an appointment but it was also great to be able to do something quickly about the waiting list that had developed during the pandemic.”