National Deaf Children's Society shocked at plans to cut hearing aids in Devon

5 December 2014

The decision announced by the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to only provide one hearing aid for people who have hearing loss in both ears has raised alarm bells at the National Deaf Children’s Society.  

As the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people, the National Deaf Children’s Society is raising concerns today around the lack of consultation and evidence base being used before the CCG made their decision.

Speaking on behalf of the National Deaf Children’s Society, Sarah Collinson, Regional Director South West says: 

“We are extremely concerned that this decision has been made and we are calling for it to be reversed immediately. Deaf young people have not been consulted and an evidence base has not been made publicly available.

“Plans to cut hearing aids will impact heavily upon young adults at a critical time in their life. The emphasis should be placed on maximising hearing, so that deaf young adults are able to fully access further education and early working life.”

Mark Worsfold says: "As a profoundly deaf person working in science I am extremely disappointed by this ruling. I have been deaf since birth and I rely entirely on lip-reading for communication. A great deal of lip-reading is guesswork and hearing aids make the difference between highly educated guesswork and incomprehension. Halving the number of hearing aids doesn't mean that your lip-reading ability is halved; it can actually cripple it entirely.

“The fact that no-one in the medical profession or among deaf education specialists or deaf people, were even aware of this ruling until this morning is an indication of how poorly considered it was. This ruling should definitely be overturned.”

ENDS

For more information, or interview requests and a case study, please contact Robin Robinson, Head of Media and PR on 0207 014 1146 or robin.robinson@ndcs.org.uk

Notes to editors:

1. Office for Disability Issues: odi.dwp.gov.uk/disability-statistics-and-research/disability-equality-indicators.php. This figure is reached by averaging the high and low estimates found on this site.

2. One of the CCG’s equality objectives states that they will produce an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) for all changes to new policies and they have stated that they will publish an EIA within or next to the relevant document on their website. However the EIA has not been published next to this new policy.

About the National Deaf Children’s Society:

• The National Deaf Children’s Society is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and their families.

• There are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK. The National Deaf Children’s Society helps deaf children and young people thrive by providing impartial, practical and emotional support to them and their families, and by challenging governments and society to meet their needs.

• For more information visit www.ndcs.org.uk.  For further support, parents can contact the National Deaf Children’s Society Freephone Helpline on 0808 800 8880 (voice and text), email helpline@ndcs.org.uk, or chat online at www.ndcs.org.uk/livechat.
 

Source: NDCS