Three NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) currently work together to plan and fund services across Redditch and Bromsgrove, Wyre Forest and South Worcestershire. As part of an ongoing review of local NHS services the CCGs had explored restricting access to NHS hearing aids. According to Action on Hearing Loss, a national patient organisation and NHS provider, these local CCGs have now decided not to restrict access to NHS hearing aids.
Paul Breckell, Action on Hearing Loss Chief Executive said “We are delighted with the decision made by the NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Wyre Forest CCG and NHS South Worcestershire CCG not to restrict hearing aid services in Worcestershire which have always been available for free to local people in Worcestershire from the NHS”. The charity was also pleased that commissioners had accepted its clinical evidence as part of the local engagement exercise.
NCHA Director of Policy Harjit Sandhu said “NHS England’s National Commissioning Framework for hearing loss services explains why it is important to improve access to NHS hearing care; so it is great to hear these CCGs decided against doing the opposite. The Framework was coproduced by procurement and pricing experts at NHS Improvement and sets out a clear path to doing more for less. Put simply, every CCG in this country has an alternative to rationing hearing care and they should use it. The NCHA can support commissioners gain access to data and information so that they can meet their duties to commission effectively, efficiently and economically.”