Five health commissioners across Durham and Teesside are working together to re- procure the Direct Access to Adult Hearing Services for Age Related Hearing Loss – Audiology Services and we would like your views to help us do that.
The impact of hearing loss in adults can be immense both at a personal and a societal level leading to social isolation, depression, loss of independence and employment challenges.
Assessing the needs of patients with hearing difficulty and developing an individual management plan which provides appropriate interventions can reduce isolation, facilitate continued integration with society and promote independent living.
The ageing population means that demand for both hearing assessment and treatment services is likely to rise substantially over the coming years. However, a significant proportion of this client group will have straightforward hearing loss that does not require referral for an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) out-patient appointment prior to assessment. These patients would benefit from direct access to adult hearing care services with a referral being made directly from their General Practitioner (GP) enabling timely diagnosis and treatment.
One in six people in the UK has some form of hearing loss. Most are elderly people who are gradually losing their hearing as part of the ageing process, with more than 70% of over 70 year-olds and 40% of over 50 year-olds having some form of hearing loss.
The aim of the service is to provide a comprehensive, patient-centred, direct access adult hearing service for age-related hearing loss in line with national guidance and local requirements.
WHY DOES IT NEED TO CHANGE?
It is recognised that continued increases in activity are not financially sustainable and other contracting models and financial payment methods should be explored to offer CCGs increased levels of sustainability within financially pressured times. Alternative models have therefore been considered and we would like your views to help us make sure the new service works well for you.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
A period of 8 weeks public engagement will begin on Monday 14th May 2018 until Friday 6th July 2018. We will be gathering the views of service users and local stakeholders about their experience of the current service and seeking suggestions on how to improve a future service.
You can get involved by completing an online questionnaire, using the following web link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Audiologysurvey2018
If you have any queries or require assistance completing the online survey, please contact the Communications and Engagement team on 01642 745 401 / 0191 374 2795 or at NECSU.firstname.lastname@example.org