Providing equal access to primary care services
Rosemary Rodgers Director, The Primary Ear Care Centre, Rotherham
Linda Mills RGN Specialist Nurse, The Primary Ear Care Centre, Rotherham
Jean Buckle Clinical Nurse Specialist, Bedford & Shires Health Care NHS Trust
Hearing loss and the effects it has on the quality of life of the sufferer are often accepted as a part of life but may sometimes be easily remedied. In patients with learning disabilities the difficulty is often in recognising the need for medical attention
The Primary Ear Care Centre in Rotherham was set up in 1990. This centre was established to focus on ear care in general practice and, in particular, with elderly people. Our interest in the needs of people with learning disabilities was prompted by a request from staff in a day centre to help a woman who kept pulling out her hearing aid and throwing it to the floor. My first thought was that the problem did not lie with the woman’s behaviour or with the hearing aid but that the ear could be blocked with wax or by an infection. Consequently, each time the woman inserted the hearing aid, there was a whistling sound with which she was unable to cope. On my visit, I found her ear to be totally occluded with wax. The woman consented to the removal of the wax and the joy when her hearing aid was replaced was more than obvious.
Learning Disability Practice. 2, 1, 24-25. doi: 10.7748/ldp1999.04.2.1.24.c1421