The UK’s largest hearing loss charity Action on Hearing Loss has welcomed the launch of new NHS guidance for services for adults with hearing loss.
The Commissioning Framework, which the charity helped NHS England to develop, contains important advice for CCGs on how to commission cost-effective services that meet the needs of the 9 million adults in England with hearing loss.
The guidance sets out why it’s important to address hearing loss and details why hearing aids are an effective treatment, both in terms of cost effectiveness and clinical efficacy.
Action on Hearing Loss hopes the guidance will encourage commissioners and providers to properly address the fact that it takes an average of ten years for someone with hearing loss to seek help, and that just two fifths of those who could benefit from hearing aids have them.
Dr. Roger Wicks, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Action on Hearing Loss, said:
We welcome this framework, which we feel presents a cost effective alternative to cuts to hearing aid provision and presents CCGs with support on commissioning high quality services.
Hearing aids are a lifeline to those who have access to them, and nine out of ten people who have them use them regularly. We hope this guidance ensures that everyone with hearing loss in England will be encouraged to seek help and gain the benefits of hearing aids.
The new guidance calls on commissioners and providers to meet the needs of the local population and to involve them in decisions, to encourage services to enable people to address their hearing loss and access hearing aids, as well as making patients aware of other support.