Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) service at NDDH

There are several ENT clinics held at North Devon District Hospital each week, some of these clinics are specialist clinics such as Head and Neck and Rhinology.

The clinics are supported by visiting Consultants from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Examples of the types of conditions/treatments that the department offers are listed below:

Tonsillitis, quinsy, nasal polyps, epistaxis, nasal fracture, nasal deviations, allergic rhinitis, anosmia, post nasal drip, sinusitis, nasal discharge, head and neck lumps, thyroid lumps, neck pain, globus, hoarse voice, dysphasia, swallowing difficulty, cysts, glands in neck, foreign bodies, otitis externa, perforations, cholesteatoma, eustachian tube dysfunction, unilateral pulsatile tinnitus, mastoiditis, exostosis, glue ear (OME), complex dizziness, appointments for patients with suspected cancer who need to be seen within two weeks.

Please go here for patient information about these conditions/treatments.

The following services are currently being provided at NDDH:

  • Emergency department services for patients with urgent acute problems
  • Routine and urgent, new outpatient and follow up appointments for ENT patients.

Extended Audiology services

Many patients with ear related symptoms can be seen directly in the Audiology service, by specialist Audiologists who work in extended roles. This includes:

  • Hearing assessments for all adults and paediatrics, regardless of whether the hearing levels are thought to be symmetrical or asymmetrical
  • Diagnostic investigations and treatment of dizziness / balance problems
  • Assessment and management of unilateral and bilateral non-pulsatile tinnitus and bilateral pulsatile tinnitus
  • Sudden hearing loss

Clinical nurse specialist appointments, including:

Clinical Nurse Specialist Head and Neck – Some head & neck cancer follow up appointments

Clinical Nurse Specialists  – Micro-suction and Aural Care

GPs should refer to the following referral guidance https://northeast.devonformularyguidance.nhs.uk/referral-guidance/northern-locality/ent/microsuction-ear-wax

Referrals will be accepted for contraindications to syringing, including

  • Perforations / grommets
  • Recently active acute or chronic otitis media
  • Recurrent otitis externa
  • Presence of a mastoid cavity
  • Ears can be syringed if previous grommets have been inserted, provided they have extruded and drum has healed
  • Microsuction may also be considered where there is an inability to co-operate with ear irrigation or where there have been repeated unsuccessful attempts at ear irrigation
  • Foreign bodies

In addition, our Clinical Nurse Specialist is a qualified prescriber and will see patients with:

  • Wet ears requiring regular cleaning
  • Chronic infections
  • Otitis externa
  • Grommets
  • Unstable mastoid cavities

Radiology for ENT patients, including cancer patients

Speech & language therapy


ENT day-case and inpatient surgery are now operational at NDDH. However Head and Neck surgery is still carried out at RDE.

The majority of on-call emergency ENT services are provided at RD&E. Detailed plans have been developed to ensure safe transfer of emergency patients to the RD&E. In the case when there are no ENT Consultants available at NDDH, A&E and wards should contact the ENT on-call middle grade at RD&E.

Last updated: February 19, 2019