We are also acutely aware that there is already a huge unmet need in the management of hearing loss in the UK. As we get older, most of us develop some degree of hearing difficulty. The incidence of hearing loss is increasing in line with our aging population, and it is estimated that by 2031 there will be over 14 million people with hearing loss in the UK. Whilst this represents a potential increase in cost to manage, hearing loss is linked with higher unemployment, poor health, dementia and increased mortality, and we also need to ask the question, what is the cost of not managing hearing loss effectively? Its effects span across the health, social care and education domains of service provision and affect every aspect of people’s lives. For more information see The Real Cost of Adult Hearing Loss at http://www.earfoundation.org.uk/research/current-research/the-real-cost-of-adult-hearing-loss
National Commissioning Framework Resources
NHS England recently consulted with the Hearing Alliance in the production of a National Framework for Audiology. The Hearing Alliance includes professional and charity groups with an interest in hearing services in the UK, and the BSA is part of this Alliance. During the consultation NHS England requested a number of information documents designed to assist Commissioners when commissioning Audiology Services. These documents were written by the Hearing Alliance members to include general information on common audiological conditions, referral pathways, outcome measures and key performance indicators.
The tinnitus outcomes were developed to support the commissioning of tinnitus services by Clinical Commissioning Groups. The author’s recommend discussing with existing service providers to ensure that the service commissioned is fit for purpose. This is intended to further develop the National Commissioning Framework for the commissioning of non-complex adult audiology services.
For the outcomes please click here Draft Outcome Measures Consultation Tinnitus Draft 6
– Alliance on Hearing Loss commissioning working group members plus additional AOHL staff
– British Society of Audiology’s Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Special Interest Group
– British Tinnitus Association’s Professional Advisers’ Committee, Trustees, staff, Vice-President and President
– National Institute for Hearing Research Nottingham Hearing and Biomedical Research Unit Tinnitus Team
The document below was produced to assist with the commissioning of balance (vestibular) services within Adult Audiology. Assessment and management of balance conditions is complex, and should be provided within a multidisciplinary structure. Commissioners should consult with their local service providers to establish existing referrals routes, and be aware that some of the information contained within this document may not directly apply to their services.
Adult rehabilitation resources
Cochrane review shows that hearing aids are effective for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss Click here to get more information.
Two documents relating to adult rehabilitation are now available:
1. Adult Rehabilitation Services, BSA Information for Service Commissioners (2017) Click here
These documents should be of interest to both commissioners and members engaged in providing services. It is anticipated that these documents will be updated as new evidence becomes available in coming months
NICE guidance relevant to hearing
Hearing impairment – cochlear implant (TA166): http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/12122/42854/42854.pdf
Auditory brainstem implants (IPG108): http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/11086/30959/30959.pdf
Surgical management of Otitis Media with Effusion (OME)(CG60): http://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG60/Guidance/pdf/English