The Alliance has welcomed the decision made by the NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Wyre Forest CCG and NHS South Worcestershire CCG not to restrict access to hearing aids for local people across Worcestershire.
The decision means that hearing aids, the only viable treatment for hearing loss and one that is extremely cost effective, will continue to remain freely available for people with a hearing loss in the area.
The three Clinical Commissioning Groups announced their decision (22 November) following a survey in 2016, with Action on Hearing Loss providing robust clinical evidence highlighting the flaws in the proposed restrictions and demonstrating the lifeline that hearing aids represent to people with hearing loss. The charity’s view was supported by the Alliance, hearing aid providers, the audiology community, local deaf groups and thousands of local people.
Statement from NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Wyre Forest CCG and NHS South Worcestershire CCG
Update (22 November 2016)
Over the past few months the Worcestershire CCGs have undertaken more work on the areas identified above. This has allowed the CCGs to develop a more clear understanding of the likely impact of implementing any proposed changes. The CCGs are currently unconvinced about the level of savings that would be achieved were specific restrictions to be introduced to primary care hearing aid services and ‘over the counter’ medicines on prescription.
Taking this into consideration, along with the responses received from patients, community groups and other key stakeholders as part of the first phase of engagement, the CCGs are not taking proposals around primary care hearing aid services or ‘over the counter’ medicines any further at this stage.