" I feel as though I’m not being taken seriously"

About: Epsom Hospital / Audiological medicine Harmoni / NHS 111

(as the patient),

Around Easter last year I had an ear infection I went to see my GP about. After weeks of different medication my doctor said that if the infection and pain had not cleared up by August I should see a consultant at the Epsom Hospital.

In August this referral was followed up. I was given a hearing test and told that I had lost part of my hearing. I am a violinist so my hearing is crucial to me. Learning that I had lost some of my hearing I was a bit hysterical when I next saw my GP and asked if I could have a second opinion.

My GP did arrange a second referral, at which my hearing was tested again and an MRI scan taken, this revealed nothing. On returning home a worker who has come suggested putting olive oil drops in my ear. This forced out a ball of dead skin, probably from eczema, this improved my hearing but it is still not perfect. I still feel as though there is something in my ear which moves around causing my hearing to be better at some times than at others.

During all this time I needed to call the 111 service when the earache was particularly bad and I could not be seen by my GP. I’ve been advised to take pain killers but as the pain can come and go very suddenly they are not always the answer. I feel as though I’m not being taken seriously when I try to explain about the pain and the feeling of something in my ear. It’s coming up to a year now and I’m still getting pain. Now I just keep getting referred back to my GP.

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Response from Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for your feedback and we are sorry to hear of the distress and pain you have been going through. It would be good to know a bit more about your treatment and what further tests you would like us to perform. To help me to follow up your concerns please can you call our patient advice and liaison team (PALS) on 020 8296 2508 or email pals@esth.nhs.uk. Further information is available on our website at www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/pals

Dr James Marsh

Epsom & St Helier Joint Medical Director

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