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NHS cutbacks harming audiology treatment

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An investigation has found that the amount of resources being allocated to tackling hearing loss by the NHS is being cut back.

Obviously tackling loss and ensuring that people are provided with top quality hearing aids should be a priority in the UK, but Action on Hearing Loss found data which seems to suggest many decision makers don't agree.

The charity found that of 128 hospitals, more than 40 per cent had seen cuts of varying degrees in the past 18 months, with rising waiting times and reductions in follow-up care the main results of this.

The NHS is currently in the middle of a £20 billion, five-year savings drive and these cutbacks appear to be having a direct impact on those people who suffer from hearing loss in the UK.

Paul Breckell, Action on Hearing Loss chief executive, said that it was "concerning" to see a reduction in care for people and also said it was a "false economy".

"People with hearing loss have the right to expect the very best local service," he said.

"It will only lead to higher NHS and social care costs to support people with untreated loss in the long run."

In response, health minister Lord Howe said it was "important" for patients to have access to high quality audiology services and said authorities were working with various groups "to improve results for hearing loss in adults and children".

He also said that 98 per cent of patients were treated within 18 weeks, which was the official target for waiting, but the figures still paint a pretty negative picture.

We here at Leightons focus primarily on deafness and, as such, we know how it should be treated and how troubling it can be for people.

So, if you're worried about anything hearing-related, call into a branch and we'll be happy to offer our opinion.

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