Following the unprecedented cuts to the provision of NHS hearing aids in North Staffordshire, we were concerned to discover in 2015 that four further Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the south of the county - NHS Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire CCG, Stafford and Surrounds CCG and South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula – were proposing to mirror these cuts.
How our campaign helped
The proposal was quickly condemned by Action on Hearing Loss, along with the audiology community, local deaf groups and people with a hearing loss. This prompted the CCGs to announce that they had ‘paused’ the launch of their engagement exercises, to observe the outcome of the public Inquiry Day on hearing aid provision held by the Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee in November 2015. This came about after we mobilised over 6,000 people to sign a local petition about the provision of NHS hearing aids in the county, securing a full county council debate about the issue.
The Inquiry Day combined presentations and discussions with CCG representatives, local people, local charities, national charities, professional groups and ENT consultants.
After taking the time to consider the evidence presented, we were pleased to receive confirmation from the South Staffordshire CCGs, in January 2016, that they were abandoning their proposal to cut NHS hearing aid provision for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
For more about the developments in the rest of the county, see North Staffordshire