Full ENT clinic services are provided in the main Outpatients Department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. A more limited range of services is available at Fleetwood Hospital.
If you are attending due to hearing or balance problems, you will be taken for a hearing test by your Audiologist before seeing your ENT Doctor. If your GP has mentioned that you have wax or infection in your ear, you may be seen by the ENT Doctor to assess and clean your ear before having the hearing test. These and other tests and procedures you may require take time to perform, and take a different amount of time for each person, so it is important that you put aside two to three hours for your appointment.
Investigations and Procedures in Clinic
When you see your ENT Doctor, you may require simple investigations and procedures to assess and treat your condition. Two such procedures are cleaning your ears under the microscope (aural toilet) and looking at the back of your nose and your voicebox with a small flexible camera through your nose (flexible nasolaryngoscopy - not done at Fleetwood). For most people these procedures are not painful. In some cases, you may feel some discomfort - if this is the case, please let your Doctor know as we can take steps to reduce the discomfort for you.
Neck Lump Clinic
We run a weekly one-stop clinic for the assessment of lumps in the neck. At this clinic, you will be seen by an ENT Doctor and a Consultant Radiologist, who can perform an ultasound scan in clinic. Often this simple, painless scan can reveal the cause of the lump and allow reassurance that no further investigation of the lump is necessary. Occasionally we need to perform an additional investigation to confirm the ultrasound findings - a fine needle aspiration (FNA). Under ultrasound guidance, a fine needle is passed into the lump and cells from the lump are taken for assessment under a microscope. The needles used are smaller than the average needle used for blood tests and the procedure is quick.
Referral for Investigations
You may be sent for further investigations such as CT or MR scans after your clinic appointment. You will be contacted directly by the Radiology department with details of your X-ray or scan appointment. In certain circumstances, with your agreement, if your Doctor feels that the outcome of the scan is likely to be normal, and no further treatment or investigation is required, we will not arrange to see you again in clinic routinely, but will write to you and your GP with the results of the scan if they are normal. Please be aware that at the time of writing, we do not receive the Radiologist's report on routine scans until up to four weeks after your scan is performed.
If hearing aids are recommended, you will be referred to the Audiology department. If your hearing loss is mild, you will be provided with a hearing aid with a standard fit mould - you will be contacted in a few weeks by the Audiology department to arrange an appointment for fitting with your new hearing aids. If you have a more severe hearing loss, or any abnormalities of your ear canal, you may need a custom made earpiece for your hearing aid - if so, you will have an impression made by the Audiologist before leaving clinic and will be contacted a few weeks later to be fitted with your new hearing aid.
We have thousands of appointments in the ENT clinic each year, subsequently our clinics are usually very busy. We can often have several Consultants running clinics at the same time, so it is possible that you may see people arriving after you who are called in to see the Doctor before you - this is usually because they are seeing a different Consultant and their team. It is impossible for everyone to be seen by their named Consultant at every appointment, so it is likely you will be seen by a Non-Consultant ENT Specialist or a Surgeon undertaking further training in ENT under the supervision of your consultant at some stage during your attendance.