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BSHAA responds to latest NICE consultation

BSHAA has responded on behalf of members to a consultation on NICE’s quality standard for the assessment and management of hearing loss in adults.

NICE quality standards are a concise set of prioritised statements that are designed to drive measurable improvements. This latest work from NICE comes after the publication in June of its guidance on treating hearing loss.

In the first stage of the quality standards consultation, NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) wanted to hear the key areas for improvement which have the greatest potential to improve the quality of care in adult hearing.

You can see the full response from BSHAA HERE. In the response, chief executive Prof David Welbourn recommends that the key priorities for access to hearing care are:

  • a public health campaign to raise awareness, promote the importance of hearing care as a key contributor to healthy and productive ageing, remove the perceived barriers to take-up, challenge the many false myths surrounding attitudes to hearing instruments and their success at improving quality of life;
  • integration of the approaches to private and NHS provision of hearing instruments, to allow clients/patients to move seamlessly between providers, including provision for private purchase of “top-up” services over the basic NHS provision, as is readily available in eyecare;
  • widen access to the proven benefits of direct referral into audiology services to reduce unnecessary burden on GPs in primary care, and reduce the barriers faced by those seeking help with hearing;
  • reduce the considerable (and inappropriate) variation in the number of referrals into non-routine pathways to make better use of resources and reduce delays/costs for patients, by ensuring that the recommended range of assessments is properly covered within routine appointment costs and times;
  • move all hearing care professionals to a single statutory regulation process to avoid confusion and unnecessary/ unhelpful barriers to seamless care.
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