Humans depend on hearing and communication to survive and thrive.  Reduced hearing can make it difficult to communicate and hear important sounds such as traffic.

The good news is that with the right support at the right time, people don’t have to be disadvantaged by reduced hearing.

Taking action can help improve quality of life by keeping people connected with family, friends and society. Taking action can also improve general health and wellbeing by reducing the risks associated with unsupported hearing loss.

In the sections below you can learn about hearing and hearing care in the UK.

Accessing Hearing Services

In the UK people have a choice about whether they access hearing care through the NHS or privately

  • people that choose to access hearing care on the NHS currently have to see their GP for a referral to a Hearing Care Professional
  • people can choose to access hearing care privately in the same way that they access sight and dental care. People that choose private hearing care do not have to wait until they have a problem to have a hearing check.

NHS Hearing Care

In some parts of the UK people have a choice of provider and can choose to access their hearing care closer to home. In other parts of the UK people still have to travel to a hospital to access routine NHS hearing care. The table below provides information for each country.

Private Hearing Care

If people want to access hearing care privately they do not need a referral from their GP. Just like visiting an optician or dentist, people can choose to visit a regulated Hearing Aid Dispenser (HAD). If the HAD feels a medical opinion is required they will refer to a medically qualified colleague. The table below provides links to more information about private hearing care in the UK.

Prevention

Other Support