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NHS hearing aid services are under threat

Stop the cuts to NHS hearing aid services - the fight continues.

People with hearing loss tell us that hearing aids are their lifeline; they are a highly cost-effective intervention with very clear clinical benefits. Hearing aids have been available on the NHS since 1948 and they are accepted to be the only viable treatment for people with adult-onset hearing loss. That is why we have been extremely concerned over by proposals from a number of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to make cuts to the provision of hearing aids – and why we have been campaigning hard to prevent these. Most CCGs have decided against cutting hearing aids after listening to feedback from the public and experts, but one CCG has stopped providing hearing aids for many people who need them.

Vital hearing loss services under threat

Our Hearing Matters report presents the most up to date facts and figures on deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss, and calls for hearing aids to remain free of charge on the NHS for everyone who needs them.

On 1st October 2015 North Staffordshire CCG introduced a policy not to provide NHS hearing aids for people with mild loss. Although no other CCG in England to date has followed this precedent, wWe are concerned that parts of the country mayare still facing see major threats to provision. Read about our work so far below.

In July 2016 NHS England published a Commissioning Framework for adult hearing loss services, which sets out why hearing services need investing in, the cost-effectiveness of hearing aids and helps CCGs commission services that meet the needs of patients. The Framework presents an alternative to cutting hearing aids, and many CCGs who were considering cutting services are using the document to design better services instead.

Find out what we have been doing to fight cuts in North Staffordshire, and what we did to help overturn proposed cuts in WorcestershireSouth Staffordshire, Mid Essex, South Norfolk , Devon and Cornwall.

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What's it like to have hearing loss?

If you don't suffer from hearing loss, it may be difficult to imagine exactly how vital hearing aids are for those who do. Click on the sound clips below to hear simulations of what a person with hearing loss might experience without a hearing aid.

Listen to a simulation of no hearing loss   Listen to a simulation of mild hearing loss   Listen to a simulation of moderate hearing loss

Hands off our hearing aids

Enfield planning to stop funding NHS hearing aids for mild and moderate hearing loss

Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is proposing to scale back NHS-funded hearing aid services for adults.
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Hands off our hearing aids

Milton Keynes planning cutbacks

Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is proposing to scale back NHS-funded hearing aid services for adults.
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Worcestershire

following further communication with hearing loss organisations the three Worcestershire CCGs announced on 22nd November 2016 that they are not now planning to take the proposals any further.
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Hearing aid cuts North Staffordshire

North Staffordshire hearing aid proposals

In March 2015, North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) voted to withdraw the provision of NHS-funded hearing aids for people with mild adult-onset hearing loss. We continue to oppose this policy and are exploring ways to have it reversed.
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South Staffordshire hearing aid proposals

In September 2015, four CCGs in South Staffordshire announced proposals to mirror the cuts in North Staffordshire. However, the CCGs decided to pause their plans to consult, ahead of a county-wide Inquiry Day on hearing aid provision. The evidence presented at this event convinced the CCGs to abandon their proposals in January 2016.
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Mid Essex hearing aid proposals

Between November 2015 and January 2016, Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) consulted on proposals to withdraw the provision of NHS-funded hearing aids for adults aged 18 and over with mild hearing loss. The feedback received convinced the CCG to delay a decision on its proposals, while it explores alternative cost-saving measures.
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South Norfolk hearing aid proposals

Between November 2015 and January 2016, South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) consulted on proposals to withdraw the provision of NHS-funded hearing aids for adults with mild hearing loss. The evidence submitted convinced the CCG not to move forward with their proposals, as they await NHS commissioning guidance.
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Devon hearing aid proposals

In December 2014, NEW Devon CCG, which covers Northern, Eastern and Western Devon, attempted to push through a policy to restrict NHS hearing aid provision to one aid per adult with hearing loss. However, huge local opposition and national media coverage convinced the CCG to scrap their proposals.
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Cornwall hearing aid proposals

In Cornwall, Kernow CCG decided not to restrict access to hearing aids.
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Hearing aid user Evelyn Boyd on holiday

Hearing aids are a lifeline

Hearing aids make a vital difference to the lives of people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
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