Community Treatment and Care Service (CTACS)

CTACS is a nurse led service providing a range of services to patients across East Lothian including; removal of sutures/staples after operations or injuries; wound care (including management of leg ulcers or wounds after surgery), ear irrigation, vitamin B12 injections, and some blood tests requested by specialist hospital teams. 

picture of a nurse applying a piece of gauze over a wound.


Patients can contact us directly for: 

  • Removal of sutures / staples after operations or injuries
  • Wound care - all wounds including post-operative, acute and chronic. 
    Please note, if a person sustains a minor injury they should still attend either their GP Surgery or Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) first for assessment. Subsequent wound care can be carried out by CTACS
  • Ear Care (this service is not available at present, please see self-care advice below)

Make an appointment by calling Tel: 0300 790 6292

The phone line is open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 12.30pm and 1.00pm to 4.30pm 

Appointments are available Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm.

You may also be referred to CTACS via your GP or Practice Nurse for

  • Vitamin B12 injections
  • Haematology bloods or pre-chemotherapy bloods
  • Doppler assessment

 Once your GP or Nurse has referred you the team will contact you directly to arrange your first appointment.

CTACS patient benefits 

  • Patients can access services provided by expertly trained nursing staff.  
  • Your GP Practice will be kept up to date on your management, and involved in your care, should it be necessary. 
  • You can visit any of the CTACS sites, whether there is a service located in your local practice or a site close to where you are going to be during the day.

Where to find us

There are two larger CTACS bases located at:

  • East Lothian Community Hospital 
  • Musselburgh Primary Care Centre 

In addition, we have a number smaller sites across East Lothian:

  • Dunbar Health Centre 
  • Cockenzie Health Centre
  • North Berwick - Edington Hospital 
  • Prestonpans Health Centre
  • Tranent Health Centre

Ear Care / Ear Syringing

Unfortunately the ear syringing service via CTACS is unavailable at present due to reductions in administrative and clinical capacities.

 In the meantime, you may find it helpful to follow the self-management advice below:

The first step in treating problematic ear wax is to soften the wax by using ear drops to see if it comes out by itself. 

However if you are experiencing any of the following issues, you should seek advice from your usual Healthcare Provider, e.g., doctors’ surgery, or NHS24.  Do not use the self-management advice below.

  • Altered sensation or numbness in your face
  • Pain in one or both of your ears
  • An ear infection
  • Discharge from the ear
  • A sudden onset of hearing loss

Self Management Advice

How to use ear drops:

You can use olive oil (or other cooking oil) drops to encourage the natural movement of wax from the ear canal:

  • Apply the drops whilst lying on your side with the affected ear upwards. Gently pull the outer ear backwards and upwards first
  • Allow one or two drops to fall into the ear canal and gently massage the area in front of the ear. The oil should be at room temperature. Never directly heat oil for use as an ear wax softener
  • Remain lying on your side for 10 minutes to allow the oil to soften the wax
  • After 10 minutes, slowly sit up whilst holding a tissue against your ear to soak up any oil that may leak out of the ear canal
  • Repeat the steps above for the other ear if required.

Please do this twice a day - before getting up in the morning and going to bed - and remember to lie down for 10 minutes after putting the ear drops in your ear (10 minutes per ear).

An olive oil spray is also available, which avoids the need to lie on your side for 10 minutes. This can be helpful if you find it difficult to lie on one side for prolonged periods. Olive oil drops and spray can be purchased from the pharmacy or supermarket.

Things to be aware of or avoid doing

Do not put cotton wool in your ear canal after using the olive oil to keep the oil in the ear, as this may cause an ear infection. Other types of ear drops may be purchased containing sodium bicarbonate or hydrogen peroxide to help break down the wax. However, long term use of these drops can lead to dryness and irritation of the ear canal, so always follow the recommended use on the packaging.

Do not use oil drops if you have been told you have a perforated ear drum, or if you have ever had surgery on your ears that has left a hole in your ear drum or problem with your ear canal.

If that is the case, please contact your usual Healthcare Provider for advice if you are having problems with your ears, or with your hearing. 

Do not use oils containing nut oil if you have a nut allergy.