NHS Cutting Hearing Services

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The article on the BBC news Health website was therefore brought to my attention by a colleague.

It appears that data obtained by Action on Hearing Loss has discovered that out of 128 hospitals more than 40% have seen cuts in the past 18 months.  Using the Freedom of Information Act the group asked 135 hospitals with audiology units whether they were subject to scale backs.  128 replied with 43% reporting some form of cut.

Results of the data have established that the most common problems were rises in waiting times, reductions in follow up appointments and a lack of specialist staff to deal with complex cases.  Such cut backs effect those suffering from hearing loss as most require follow up appointments following the fitting of a hearing aid to assist them in adapting to the aid.  The report also found evidence of hospitals providing only one hearing aid when two had been recommended.

It is concerning that cut backs are being made, not only in audiology departments, but across the NHS.  I understand the NHS is in the middle of a £20 billion five year savings drive.  People should receive a certain standard of care across the board and this does not appear to be the case and signs are it will only get worse. 

Karen Thompson

Legal Executive - Personal Injury team 

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