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 Worcestershire, South 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.