Hear and Now
When the wait for treatment was just too long, this Lancashire patient used Spire Fylde Coast to clear his ear infection writes Kate Ford. Photography: Paul Melling
Many of us know people who have used their local private hospital. We’ve heard tales of hip and knee replacements changing people’s lives and making movement pain-free once again.
Something we hear about less often, perhaps, are those patients who have used private hospitals for conditions that you might not normally associate with needing a hospital.
Andrew Clark is one such patient. A trip to his GP, about soreness in his ears, eventually led to him being referred to a specialist at his local NHS hospital. The waiting time, however, was longer than he had expected, and his symptoms were getting worse by the week.
A very busy landscape gardener from Morecambe, Andrew is happy to let mum, Doreen, take up the story; “Andrew’s ears had been extremely itchy for a couple of years,” she says. “They were very sore and, worse still, they had an unpleasant odour. This was starting to affect his working life and making him quite anxious.”
As is often the case, when Andrew received his referral, he shrugged his shoulders and resigned himself to the wait.
Doreen, however, could see the stress his symptoms were causing so she did a little research of her own.
“I was familiar with Spire Fylde Coast Hospital, so I looked at their website to find out more about their consultants,” she says. “I found an ear, nose and throat specialist, Mr Vikas Malik, who had a wealth of experience, and I persuaded Andrew to see him.”
Neither Andrew or Doreen ever looked back. They saw Mr Malik within days and, at the initial consultation, he explained to Andrew exactly what was wrong and how he intended to put it right.
“Andrew had a nasty infection in both ears, probably linked to the nature of his work as a landscape gardener,” explains Doreen. “Mr Malik put him completely at ease and explained everything to him in layman’s terms.
“By the time Andrew went for his third consultation, less than five weeks later, the infection had completely cleared.”
Having lived with the discomfort and unpleasant symptoms for almost two years, this quick and painless solution was a dream come true for Andrew. Mr Malik says: “Ear infections, especially associated with smelly discharge, shouldn’t be ignored as it can sometimes lead to serious complications, so you should seek specialist opinion.”
His super-quick diagnosis, followed by a course of ear drops and good after-care advice, meant that Andrew could return to normal working life.
“The experience was worth every penny,” said Doreen. “Everyone we dealt with, from the receptionist and pharmacist to the consultant himself, was wonderful. The whole place was such a clean and pleasant environment.”
Commenting on her own involvement in Andrew’s care, she laughs: “They need a little nudge sometimes, don’t they? I’m so glad I persuaded Andrew to use Spire because it has changed his life.”
Spire Fylde Coast Hospital
St Walburgas Road
Blackpool FY3 8BP