There is over a year’s wait for ear, nose and throat appointments following referral by a GP.

This was revealed in a recent written response.

Currently, 1092 patients are waiting to be seen by ENT following a routine referral.

In the written response, Lawrie Hooper, health and social care minister, said that the 55 week waiting time, has reduced by 21 weeks, from 76 weeks.

Mr Hooper said: ‘Through the Restoration and Recovery Programme Nobles Hospital’s ENT Unit undertook additional weekend clinics to reduce waiting times.’

The written response adds: ‘Manx Care have also utilised two ENT Consultants to undertake a clinical validation of the waiting list which has replaced some programmed clinics.

‘This means that those patients waiting for a long period of time are reviewed and contacted by the Consultant to establish if their ENT symptoms for which they were referred have improved sufficiently for them to be discharged.

‘This approach has led to a reduction in the wait time for ENT from 76 weeks to the current 55 weeks.

‘Manx Care are also undertaking a Demand and Capacity review to identify what gap there is between current consultant capacity and demand from referrals.

‘This will help determine whether additional staffing needs to be introduced to ENT, in the form of additional medical staff or a specialist nurse/practitioner.’

Onchan MHK, Rob Callister, who asked the written question on the matter, said: ‘I submitted the question after I had been contacted by two constituents who had been referred for an Ears, Nose and Throat appointment by their GPs, and had both been advised that it would be a three to four year wait.

‘So I am surprised to see in the written response that it is a 55 week wait.

‘Having said that, even 55 weeks is far too long especially for ears, nose and throat.

‘For example, having an issue with your ears, it can impact your balance, your employment and your social life, so people should not have to wait for so long.’

Mr Callister added: ‘I would like to see that wait time halved in this administration.

This is just one department, in how many other departments are people having to wait for so long?’

A Freedom of Information Response revealed that as of March 30 this year, over 1,800 people were waiting for a first appointment with an Ears, Nose and Throat Consultant at Noble’s Hospital.

In 2021, Manx Care entered a contract with Medefer, a company that provided virtual consultations with outpatients where they were eligible in a bid to tackle waiting lists across a number of specialisms, including ears, nose and throat.

This contract ended in February this year, and was not renewed by Manx Care.