Support our campaign to keep hearing aids free on the NHS in England for everyone who needs them, regardless of the level of their hearing loss.
Hearing aids are a lifeline to people with hearing loss and have been available on the NHS since 1948. But this lifeline is being put at risk.
Since 2014, 13 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), who buy local hearing aid services for areas of England, have announced proposals to stop giving NHS hearing aids to people with mild or moderate hearing loss. This is despite clear evidence of the benefits that hearing aids have for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
With your help, we fought against each CCG proposal to restrict who gets hearing aids. As a result, 12 of the 13 CCGs agreed to keep providing hearing aids to everyone who needs them.
We continue to fight the one CCG, North Staffordshire, that went ahead and restricted the provision of hearing aids.
What we want to change
North Staffordshire CCG has restricted provision of NHS hearing aids since 2015. This forces people in the area to buy expensive hearing aids from private providers, or do without.
We want North Staffordshire to lift the restrictions on who gets hearing aids.
We also want to make sure that other CCGs understand the importance of providing hearing aids to everybody who needs them, so they don’t consider cutting them.
There are five other CCGs in Staffordshire that are currently considering introducing restrictions on who gets hearing aids. We’re working hard with our campaigners to try to stop this from happening, and to show the CCGs the benefits of providing hearing aids, both for patients and the NHS.
Why CCGs should provide hearing aids
There is clear and comprehensive evidence of the clinical benefits of providing hearing aids for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Studies have shown that for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, hearing aids improve communication, relationships, self-confidence, social participation and overall health, and that they reduce depression and anxiety.
In 2018, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which provides the government with guidance and advice on the cost-effectiveness of treatments, recommended that hearing aids should be provided to all adults whose hearing loss affects their ability to communicate. CCGs are meant to adhere to this guidance.
There is also growing evidence linking the use of hearing aids to the prevention of other conditions, including depression and cognitive decline which, if untreated, can lead to dementia.
To find out more about the importance of hearing aids, read our report Hearing Matters.
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