An award-winning doctor who runs a five-star rated surgery is championing a ‘simple, comprehensive and GP-friendly’ guide to help healthcare professionals better understand and treat tinnitus.
Dr Gabriel Hendow has worked at Bransholme Health Centre in Hull as a single-handed GP for 25 years, a practice which cares for 2,500 patients and has a five-star rating by NHS Choices.
In 2014 Dr Hendow became the first doctor in the UK to offer patients a Food Clinic at the surgery to tackle obesity, an initiative that won the ‘Health Improvement Award’ at the Health and Care 2016 Awards in Hull.
Now to mark Tinnitus Awareness Week (6 – 12 February), Dr Hendow, the only single-handed GP in the country to receive an ‘Overall Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission, is championing a GP Guide to tinnitus.
The GP Guide features input and contributions from healthcare professionals including Dr Hendow and is designed as a resource to help healthcare workers in primary care better understand tinnitus, as well as what can be done to help patients affected.
Dr Hendow said: “Through my ENT specialism, I have over the years learned more about tinnitus and have enhanced that understanding by going to seminars held by The Tinnitus Clinic. But I am aware that many of my colleagues in general practice may not have benefited from such events and experience.
“Doctors are also, of course constrained by the time they have for patients – a ten-minute appointment is often not long enough for them to listen, appreciate, explain, sympathise and then start to go through the available treatment options.
“Patients may have been dealing with their symptoms for many weeks or months before coming to see a healthcare professional. If they are then told there is nothing that can be done - which isn’t the case – it can then make a stressful situation even worse for them.”
In a poll by The Tinnitus Clinic, more than 90 per cent of respondents were told that their tinnitus would be something they’d have to ‘learn to live with’ or ‘get used to’.
Dr Hendow said: “The GP Guide from The Tinnitus Clinic is very informative and accessible, and is a good step-by-step booklet for healthcare professionals to have access to.
“I’m glad I was able to share my knowledge and contribute to the guide – it’s something that impressed the CQC during their visit – and I hope other doctors choose to use what I have found to be a simple, comprehensive and GP-friendly handbook.”
The Guide has been reviewed and approved by ENT consultants, GPs and the CCG in Hull, as well as the local hospital trust management and medicine management teams, before being uploaded onto the CCG’s Pathway Information Portal (PIP). The PIP is available to all GPs, as well as support staff who help with referrals.
Dr Vincent Rawcliffe, Chair of the Hull CCG Council of Members, said: "The addition of the Tinnitus Clinic GP Guide to the Hull CCG PIP has helped add a valuable resource in the management of this distressing condition for our patients and is widely available to all our GPs."
Click here to download the Tinnitus First Appointment Guide for GPs.
The Tinnitus Clinic has clinics throughout the UK
An important part of my mission at The Tinnitus Clinic is to share our knowledge of tinnitus; its causes, how to prevent it and what to do if you are suffering from the condition. This blog will go some way in achieving this aim.