People needing hearing aids told to lip read instead

Patients are being refused NHS hearing aids and the only advice given is to lip read instead. Earlier this year the NHS Commissioning Group in Staffordshire began refusing hearing aids to those with moderate hearing loss which led the way for other NHS Commissioning Groups to make similar cuts.

Not only is the NHS Commissioning Group in Staffordshire refusing to provide hearing aids for those with moderate hearing loss but they are now implementing refusal to those patients with mild hearing loss. The cuts will mean that around 500 people in the Staffordshire area will not receive a hearing aid, despite needing one with either mild or moderate hearing loss.

At present, the only people entitled to hearing aids on the NHS are those with severe hearing loss and only those who with moderate hearing loss can prove that they will fully benefit from the device.

In a leaflet provided to patients who are not eligible for hearing aids, they are advised to make the best use of their hearing including being advised to lip read to communicate, to sit close to someone when they are talking and to turn the television down to prevent background noise.

This is the first time since the NHS began in 1948 that hearing aids have not been available for hearing loss sufferers. A pair of hearing aids costs the NHS £90.00 each which is nothing in comparison to those that can be purchased privately which can cost around £3,000.

Many charities who are involved in providing support and advice to hearing loss sufferers say that “taking away free hearing aids would force people into isolation”. The chief executive for Action on Hearing Loss has explained how the cuts being made will ultimately cause a domino effect as other NHS Commissioning Groups across the country will follow suit. Some NHS Commissoning Groups across the UK have made other cuts by limiting hearing aids to one pair per person.

The chief executive of the Ear Foundation has commented on the changes being made to the health system and stated “it will have a huge impact on the ageing population” and referred to the advice leaflet given to patients who are refused hearing aids as “simply ageist”.

Hearing loss is categorised between mild, moderate or severe. Those with mild hearing loss have some difficulty following conversation especially in noisy surroundings and those who suffer with moderate or severe hearing loss have difficulty in understanding any conversation in a crowded place and will have to rely on lip reading and sign language. Hearing loss can be caused by ageing, health problems, medication and noise.

A person who suffers with noise induced hearing loss as a result of having worked in a noisy work place may be entitled to make a claim to recover compensation due to the loss of hearing suffered as a result. You may ask how do I claim for industrial deafness?

Our Industrial Deafness Solicitors are experienced in the field of work related diseases and will be able to offer you a helping hand by advising whether you are entitled to compensation for industrial deafness.

An industrial deafness claim needs proof of exposure to noise, a direct link between the noise exposure and the hearing loss suffered (breach of duty) and the time frame from the onset of hearing loss symptoms. The time frame from the onset of hearing loss symptoms is very important as a person only has three years from when they first notice their hearing loss, which they knew or ought to have known was caused by their exposure to noise at work.

Therefore if you have noticed hearing loss in the last three years and feel you have been exposed at noise at work please contact our noise induced hearing loss solicitors.

What’s My Deafness Claim Worth has extensive experience in dealing with people suffering with hearing loss and tinnitus. We have a specialist team of industrail deafness solicitors, as well as a fully trained audiologist, who will fight for the compensation that you deserve. Our team understands that it can be a very difficult and daunting time for you and they will do their best to offer an unparalleled support network and specialist legal expertise. If you have suffered a personal injury, which was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.If you are suffering from loss of hearing, buzzing or ringing in your ears, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.

If you have been affected by hearing loss or exposure to noisy working environments you should not hesitate to contact us or to try our ‘Calculate my Claim’ feature on the right hand side of this page to see what your claim may be worth. We understand that the symptoms that you are suffering from can have serious consequences on your day to day life. When fighting for your compensation we take into account any time you have had to take off work, any treatment you have had to pay for including the cost of hearing aids and any other losses that you may have incurred.

Claims are dealt with on a no win, no fee basis so if we are unsuccessful in your claim you do not pay anything.

Call 0800 849 8700 to speak to a member of our specialist team of Industrial Disease lawyers who will assist you further with this matter.

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