26 July 2022

New ear, nose and throat service launched in Sussex

Thousands of patients with ear, nose and throat (ENT) problems are going to benefit from quicker and more direct access to support and treatment after the launch of Sussex’s brand-new ENT service.

ENT Sussex provides a single point of access for all referrals for patients with ear, nose, and throat concerns – with an ambition to deliver joined-up and consistent access to services.

It aims to streamline the referral process for GPs and other health professionals and ensure that patients with ENT conditions are seen faster, avoiding unnecessary delays.

The service brings together all NHS organisations providing ENT services for the first time, including East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Queen Victoria Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.

Patients will have an appointment with their GP practice as normal and then be referred to a central referral management centre where they will be triaged by clinicians working in NHS services across Sussex.

Patients will then be directed to the correct service for their health needs and seen by the right person the first time.

The new service will also mean that patients are able to access services across the area and may therefore be directed to a service where waiting times are lower.

The ENT Sussex service will be able to access a single patient waiting list so that people are seen in order of clinical priority.

Nick Saunders, ENT Sussex Clinical Lead, said:

“We have listened closely to patients and to professionals who have shared their frustrations about current services and how things could be better. As we work to address waiting times and help us to further improve the level of care being offered to local people, this new joined up approach aims to reduce duplication and provide a more simplified service for patients.

“It is also a significant step forward in our aim to ensure equity of access for every ENT patient across Sussex as there will be a single way to access help and treatment.”

Pari Hutchinson, Programme Manager for ENT Sussex, said:

“The ENT Sussex Single Point of Access has been a collaborative piece of work which has seen our stakeholders throughout the Sussex NHS system invested in the redesign and transformation of the new ENT Sussex Service.

“This is a positive move in the way our providers have and will continue to work together to provide interoperability which will support the single point of access to provide better patient outcomes.”