A review of adult hearing services has become necessary in order to ensure care is clinically appropriate and to prioritise treatment for those with more significant hearing loss.
Hearing loss is common in older adults. The prevalence of hearing loss is 20% to 40% in adults aged 50 years or older and more than 80% for those aged 80 years or older. Hearing loss exists when there is diminished sensitivity to the sounds normally heard.
The World Health Organisation defines hearing loss into four categories as below:
Profound 81dB or more
The current service offers covers treatment for all levels of hearing loss.
The proposal for adult hearing services
The CCG is proposing to amend the criteria for access to Adult Hearing Services as follows:
Adults with mild hearing loss (at 41db or below) will not be accepted for treatment, nor have hearing aid equipment provided to them and maintained in the future. This is likely to affect 10% of current patients - around 124 and 175 patients.
We will continue to routinely fund the provision of hearing aid equipment where hearing loss is diagnosed as moderate (41-55db) or higher, AND as a consequence the patient is suffering a significant negative impact on their daily life.
We will issue one hearing aid rather than two where one aid is sufficient to meet the needs of the patient.
We will ensure that all patients are assessed to make sure no significant disruption to daily life occurs by not providing hearing aids to those with mild hearing loss.
We know that some patients, who have mild/slight hearing loss, will fall outside of the proposed threshold for NHS services in Milton Keynes and may still want to access a service on a private basis. We will ensure such patients are signposted to alternative service providers.
How to have your say
Your opinion really counts and we need your feedback on our ideas. You can complete the survey here.