Report reveals audiology depts under pressure
Posted on 27/01/2015
Two in five NHS audiology departments (41%) are being forced to cut core services due to shrinking budgets or increased demand, affecting hundreds of thousands of people across the UK, according to our new report launched today.
Freedom of Information requests, which we issued to every NHS adult audiology service in the UK, reveal that the NHS is already struggling to cope with reduced staff numbers, restricted access to hearing aids and patients facing longer waiting times for shorter appointments - yet a fifth (19%) of NHS hearing loss services are aware of further budget cuts in the next 12 months.
Short terms savings leading to long term expense
Paul Breckell, our Chief Executive, said, “Making short-term savings by reducing the quality and availability of life-changing hearing services is a false economy that will lead to higher NHS and social care costs in the long run. The personal cost of these cuts could be even higher for the one in six people affected, with untreated hearing loss leading to social isolation, unemployment and dementia amongst other health conditions.
“Rather than a postcode lottery of care, we need a forward-thinking plan that will enable frontline staff to deliver every patient the advice and support that they have the right to expect from our NHS.”
National standard needed to protect hearing loss services
We are calling on The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the government to protect NHS hearing loss services by developing and rolling out national quality standards, so that local NHS providers have evidence-based guidance and adequate support to meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people across the UK.
How you can get involved
If you would like to get behind the charity’s call, please visit our report pages for further information including how to contact your local MP www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/underpressure