The new NICE guideline, ‘Hearing loss in adults: assessment and management’, states that the decision to fit hearing aids should be based on need alone and given their clinical efficacy and cost effectiveness should be offered at ‘the first opportunity if an individual is likely to benefit’.
The commissioning policy of North Staffordshire CCGs is currently not to offer hearing aids to patients with mild hearing loss. Stoke-on-Trent CCG does offer hearing aids to patients with mild hearing loss.
The current North Staffordshire CCG commissioning policy is therefore to be reviewed by the CCGs Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG).
They will make a recommendation that will subsequently be considered by the Joint Planning and Commissioning Committee which meets later this year on whether to bring commissioning policy in-line with the new NICE guidelines.