After a competitive procurement process, South East London (SEL) Integrated Care Board (ICB) has awarded a contract to Communitas Clinics to set up and operate a new Community ear, nose, and throat (ENT) service across south east London.

This new initiative is designed to reduce waiting times for patients across south east London with a wide range of conditions.

The SEL Community ENT Service has been developed in partnership by SEL ICB teams, and the Acute Provider Collaborative ENT network, which brings together the ENT teams across south east London, and will forge closer links between primary and secondary care.

We are currently in the mobilisation process. The Frequently Asked Questions below will help you understand some of your initial queries.

Where will the service be located?

Communitas are currently securing locations for the service .There will be a minimum of 1 clinic site per borough providing a ‘one stop shop’ model of face to face care. Once set up, patients will be able to access services at their preferred location. The following locations have been confirmed: Lakeside Health Centre (Bexley); Everest Medical Centre (Greenwich), The Vale Medical Practice (Lewisham) and Palace Road Surgery (Lambeth).

When will this service go-live?

A go-live date for new referrals is to be confirmed. Communitas have been able to offer support in seeing patients currently on a GSTT or LGT ENT waiting list once locations for the community service are finalised. Use of community capacity will be prioritised for these patients in the first instance to enable equity in access for existing and new patients.

How can patients be referred into the community service?

For each borough, there will be two RAS’s set up on eRS – one for adults and one for paediatrics.

Can patients still be referred into NHS Trusts?

NHS Trusts will still be open for routine referrals and urgent referrals. Where Trusts receive referrals for patients that are suitable for the community service, they may be diverted to Communitas. There is currently no routine provision at KCH.

Will the existing Audiology and Ear Wax Removal pathways remain?

Yes. Where patients require audiology or ear wax removal only, they can be referred directly into AQP Audiology Providers or Specsavers for Ear wax removal. Communitas Clinics will provide audiology and earwax removal for patients who need to remain in the Community ENT service. Where a patient is referred to Communitas and determined to only require audiology or ear wax removal, they will be onwardly referred to the relevant provider.

Will the community service provide Advice and Guidance?


Is the service open to self referrals?

No. The service is via referral only.

Will the service be consultant or nurse led?

The service will be consultant led.

Will there be capacity for long waiters at GST / LGT to be transferred to the community service?

Communitas are currently in discussions with GST and LGT to identify how long waiting patients can be transferred where appropriate to be seen in the community. Capacity in the Community Service has been reserved for these long waiting patients in the first instance.

Will the community service be able to onward refer into acute services?

Yes – where a patient requires onward referral into acute services at an NHS Trust, Communitas will onwardly refer. Communitas are currently working with GST/LGT and KCH to develop pathways for specific ENT sub-speciality clinics.

Will the introduction of a community service mean more work for primary care?

It is estimated that 2% of referrals can be managed in primary care. In these instances Communitas will provide both GP and patient with a management plan and appropriate advice and guidance. Communitas will also be running GP training events across SEL to help support primary care.

Can any patient use the Community ENT service?

The Community ENT service is for SEL NHS patients of any age. There is no provision for private patients.

Can Communitas present at our upcoming primary care forum?

Communitas are happy to attend primary care engagement forums. Please email with further details of your upcoming event.

Is this a long term service?

The current contract has been awarded for 3 years, with a potential 2 year extension.

Can patients be seen at any Communitas Community Site?

Patients will be offered choice of Community ENT location across SEL boroughs. Patients will not be able to access Communitas Clinic locations outside of SEL.

South East London Integrated Care System

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