A new ‘Action Plan on Hearing Loss’ to support services for deaf people and those with hearing loss has been produced by NHS England and the Department of Health.
The plan, which we helped to develop, highlights the major impacts of hearing loss and provides guidance to healthcare providers, Clinical Commissioning Groups and GPs to improve services for everyone living with hearing loss. It also sets out the need to reduce variation in provision of services through the development of NICE quality standards on adult-onset hearing loss.
Paul Breckell, Chief Executive of the UK’s largest hearing loss charity, Action on Hearing Loss, said:
“The government’s Action Plan finally recognises hearing loss as a priority health issue, reflecting the scale of the condition that affects one in six people across the UK. We know that consistent, high-quality services are vital to ensure that people are able to seek advice from their GP, understand the impacts of, and best manage their hearing loss. We’re eager to ensure that the promised standards are developed as soon as possible, to avoid this much-anticipated Plan gathering dust on a shelf.”
The report sets out five key objectives in in the following areas:
- Good prevention – for example reducing the numbers of young people and adults with noise induced hearing loss; including through immunisation and screening and utilising quality data to understand the social, financial and personal health advantages
- Earlier diagnosis – for example improving outcomes for babies with hearing loss, increasing identification of the number of children and adults in at risk groups
- Integrated services – for example reducing developmental and educational gaps due to childhood hearing loss and increasing the number of children, young people and adults with a personalised care plan
- Increased independence and ageing well – for example including access to technology including support by mobile or tele healthcare and improving access to wider health services from primary to end of life care
- Good learning outcomes – for example including improving employment opportunities for young people and adults and reducing development and attainment gaps between deaf and hearing children
To read the Governments full Action Plan On Hearing Loss visit the NHS website.
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