All patients with moderate hearing loss will now become eligible to receive NHS hearing aids.
The decisions has been made by the North Staffordshire CCG Governing Body at its meeting on the 28 January 2021.
Until now patients with moderate and mild hearing loss in North Staffordshire were only entitled to receive hearing aids if they met the criteria outlined in the Commissioning Policy for Adult Onset Hearing Loss.
The new decision means:
- The restrictions for moderate hearing loss have been removed and all patients with moderate hearing loss can now receive hearing aids
- The restrictions for mild hearing loss remain in place* in North Staffordshire
- Patients elsewhere in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent remain able to receive hearing aids for both mild and moderate hearing loss
The provision of hearing aids across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent was covered in the Difficult Decisions engagement which was launched in January 2020. This particularly looked to address “postcode lotteries” where the availability of treatments, therapies or equipment varied according to where you live.
Work on Difficult Decisions was largely postponed later in 2020 to enable all clinical resources to concentrate on COVID.
Marcus Warnes, Accountable Officer for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs said: “Following the suspension of the Difficult Decisions programme we were asked by a number of stakeholders to review the position on hearing aids in North Staffordshire.
“We undertook a review and recognise the likely outcome of future engagement and consultation is that no restrictions for moderate hearing loss will be implemented across the other five CCGs and therefore the current restriction in North Staffordshire should be removed. This also means mild hearing loss is unchanged and remains part of the Difficult Decisions programme.”
It is not yet possible to say when the rest of the Difficult Decisions programme will resume.