Ear, nose and throat emergencies constitute a heavy but unpredictable workload for the junior otolaryngologist. Patients are often seen in the treatment room on the ward or in the casualty department. Many patients referred as emergencies can in fact be seen the following day without detriment.
This audit examined the change in treatment room workload when an open access ENT clinic was set up each weekday morning.
The results demonstrate that around 75 per cent of the patients seen were suitable for waiting until the next day. The clinic was considered a success as it provided benefits for GP access, routine clinics, junior doctor teaching and concentration of aural toilet cases under expert nurse care.