Action on Hearing Loss is urging people to speak up against plans announced by Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to introduce cuts to hearing aid provision, which could affect thousands of people in the area.
Enfield CCG is undertaking a public consultation on a range of proposals that include plans to cut hearing aid provision for people with mild hearing loss aged 50 and above, and to require that people with moderate hearing loss go through an eligibility test before receiving them.
Paul Breckell, Chief Executive of charity Action on Hearing Loss, said: “Hearing loss currently affects one in six of us. We are deeply opposed to Enfield CCG’s plans to deny people with mild hearing loss the hearing aids they need, and to force people with moderate hearing loss to go through an unnecessary and inappropriate eligibility test.
“Ironically, despite Enfield CCG naming this consultation ‘Adherence to evidence based medicine’, they appear to have completely overlooked the wealth of compelling and robust evidence that shows both the importance and the effectiveness of hearing aids while putting together these proposals. They not only directly contradict and overlook NHS England’s Commissioning Framework – the official guidance on commissioning services for adults with hearing loss – they also misrepresent what other CCGs have done. Contrary to some of the rationale given by Enfield CCG for exploring cuts to hearing aid services, South Norfolk CCG decided against them following a thorough review of the evidence and Stoke on Trent CCG also decided against restricting access.
“We’ll be fighting these cuts in Enfield and anywhere else we feel people are being denied the only viable, cost effective treatment for hearing loss. Hearing aids are a lifeline to millions of people, enabling many to stay in work and not feel isolated. We encourage all members of the public to campaign alongside us to prevent these proposals going forward.”
Unaddressed hearing loss can affect people’s ability to work and socialise, and has been linked to other conditions such as depression, isolation and even an increased risk of dementia.
To feedback on these plans please complete the CCG’s online survey: http://www.enfieldccg.nhs.uk/adherence-to-evidence-based-medicine.htm.
To join Action on Hearing Loss’ campaign against the cuts and for more information on hearing aids visit https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/get-involved/campaign/hearing-aid-cuts.aspx
For media enquiries or comment
Jess Reid, telephone: 0203 227 6065 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, @HearingLossPR.
Notes to Editors