Location: North West England
Location: Kent and Medway
Brand new guidance on helping patients with hearing loss with the challenges it presents has been published for healthcare commissioners in the UK.
NHS England worked closely with the charity Action on Hearing Loss to produce the guidance, which is entitled 'What works: Hearing loss and healthy ageing' and has been created as part of the government's official Action Plan on Hearing Loss.
The guide focuses on how care providers can best address the social and communication challenges that people who develop hearing loss in later life experience, at the same time making sure their health, wellbeing and independence is not being compromised.
It forms part of a series of three guides, which also includes the titles 'What works: Hearing loss and employment' and 'What works: Hearing loss and the transition to adulthood'.
Dr Roger Wicks, director of policy and campaigns at Action on Hearing Loss, explained: "This guide sets out clearly 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."
He added that more than 70 per cent of people aged 70 and over in the UK suffer from some level of hearing loss, so it is "vital" that healthcare providers are looking more closely at the effect decline in hearing function can have on people's wellbeing, finding new ways to support affected individuals.
Overall, more than nine million people across Britain are believed to be living with hearing loss, so the authors of the report are calling for stakeholders from the public, private and voluntary sectors to join forces to address the challenges faced by this growing group of patients.
Written by James Puckle
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