New guidance for commissioners published by NHS England has for the first time comprehensively addressed social and medical care for older people with hearing loss.
Leading UK charity Action on Hearing Loss helped produce the guide, entitled What Works: Hearing Loss and Healthy Ageing, which was developed in response to the ambition set out in the Government’s Action Plan on Hearing Loss.
The guide focuses on the obligations of commissioners and providers of care towards older people with hearing loss and what they can do to address hearing and communication challenges, while helping them maintain their health, well-being and independence.
Dr. Roger Wicks, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “It’s pleasing to see the Action Plan on Hearing Loss’ recommendations being taken forward with this important guide. With over 70% of over 70 year olds living with hearing loss, it is vital that commissioners and providers take a holistic look at the way they address the ageing population and recognise the impact hearing loss has on older peoples’ wellbeing.
“This guide sets out clearly for commissioners’ and providers’ obligations, but also why the consideration of hearing loss should be a vital part of many aspects of health and social care. By following the advice laid out in the guidance and by using the examples of best practice, the health and social care system will reap the benefits of an ageing population that is empowered and enabled to thrive.”
Professor Sue Hill OBE, Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England, said in the guide: “Hearing loss continues to be a growing challenge in England with over nine million people affected by it. The scale of the challenge requires concerted effort and action from a wide range of stakeholders across the public, private, professional and voluntary sectors.
“This guide is specifically aimed at commissioners and medical and social care providers working with older people with hearing loss to support them in maintaining health, wellbeing and independence.”
NHS England has launched the guide alongside two others produced to help deliver the Action Plan on Hearing Loss’ recommendations, What works: Hearing Loss and Employment and What Works: Hearing Loss and the Transition to Adulthood.
To read the guides and for more information, please visit: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/what-works-guides-action-plan-on-hearing-loss/.