McHale & Co. Solicitors Blog

Cutting Hearing Aid Provision 'Could Cause Isolation and Depression'

If you are suffering from hearing loss you may find it difficult to communicate with others around you and you may also find that your quality of life has been diminished.  For many people, hearing aids are vital tools which amplify sounds to give that person more freedom, independence and the ability to interact with others.

The North Staffordshire CCG Governing Board has recently approved proposals to cut hearing aid provision for people suffering with adult-onset mild – moderate hearing loss.  This means that only patients suffering with a hearing loss of over 40db may be eligible for hearing aids through the NHS but they will also have to be assessed to see if they would benefit from the hearing aids.

Normal hearing ranges from 0 – 25db and therefore 40db loss is quite a significant loss.  The proposed cut backs will mean that patients who do not have severe hearing loss will be forced to pay for hearing aids privately which can cost up to £4,000 per set of hearing aids depending on what type of hearing aid in addition to replacement batteries and maintenance.  Hearing aids typically need replacing every five years too.

The planned proposals to cut hearing aid provisions are very worrying and it is likely that other trusts will follow suit.  Action on Hearing Loss and other charities are campaigning against this decision which has generated a lot of attention in the media and on social networking sites.

The North Staffordshire CCG Governing Board’s policy outlines the definition of adult – onset hearing loss which is taken from the WHO document ‘Global Burden of Hearing Loss’.  Adult – onset hearing loss is defined as ‘cases of adult onset hearing loss due to ageing or noise exposure.  Excludes hearing loss due to congenital causes, infection diseases, other diseases or injury’.  It therefore appears that the cut back of hearing aids will only apply to those suffering with age related hearing loss and noise induced hearing loss. 

Charlotte Harris, who deals with Industrial Deafness claims, has represented many clients who have noise induced hearing loss as a result  of working in noisy environments and have subsequently needed and relied upon the use of hearing aids.  Charlotte believes that if patients are forced to fund their hearing aids privately, many will not bother which may result in that person feeling isolated and maybe even developing depression.  Clients who are claiming for noise induced hearing loss can include a claim for a contribution towards privately funded hearing aids, if these have been recommended.

If you would like some advice on whether or not you can claim for noise induced hearing loss, contact Charlotte Harris at McHale & Co Solicitors on 0161 928 3848.

We pride ourselves on being friendly, professional and approachable, and will always act in your best interests. We care about our clients and will always put you first. We have offices in Altrincham, Manchester and Heywood, meaning we are easily accessible to clients in Cheshire and Greater Manchester. We are also situated close to excellent national travel networks, and are therefore more than happy to have clients from across the UK. We are always happy to meet you directly, at a time and location convenient to you.

Categories: Personal Injury

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