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26 February 2021

NCHA member update – 26 February

This week

World Hearing Day 3 March

World Hearing Day (WHD) will be held on 3 March. This year, the WHO theme will be ‘Hearing care for all'. The main event will be launching and promoting the World Report on Hearing.

If you are taking part online, WHO asks you to support by using #hearathon2021. You can also use #worldhearingday, #hearingcare and #safelistening.

Here are the key messages for this WHD2021:

For policymakers:

  • The number of people living with unaddressed hearing loss and ear diseases is unacceptable
  • Timely action is needed to prevent and address hearing loss across the life course
  • Investing in cost-effective interventions will benefit people with hearing loss and bring financial gains to the society
  • Governments must act to integrate person-centred ear and hearing care within national health plans for universal health coverage.

For the general public:

  • Good hearing and communication are important at all stages of life
  • Hearing loss (and related ear diseases) can be avoided through preventative actions such as: protection against loud sounds; good ear care practices and immunisation
  • Hearing loss (and related ear diseases) can be addressed when it is identified in a timely manner and appropriate care sought
  • People at risk of hearing loss should check their hearing regularly
  • People having hearing loss (or related ear diseases) should seek care from a healthcare provider.

Learn more

Follow us on Twitter @NCHAhearing where we will be sharing highlights from the day.

Covid-19 updates

UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed that the Covid alert level should move from level 5 to level 4 in all four nations.

There is also positive news that early real-world UK data shows vaccines provide high levels of protection from the first dose.

This week, the government confirmed that the earliest date for opening all shops in England is 12 April and lifting all restrictions on 21 June. In Scotland, the government confirmed it hoped to open all shops by 26 April. Northern Ireland will review its plans on 18 March and Wales on 12 March.

At this stage, IPC and PPE measures will likely continue for healthcare settings beyond any lifting of national restrictions. FODO will continue to monitor this situation and keep members up to date. 

Get ready for IR35

This is a reminder that changes to off-payroll working rules (IR35 are due to come into force from 6 April. 

Medium and large-sized businesses, who meet specific criteria, will be responsible for deciding whether to deduct tax and National Insurance Contribution (NICs) from locums operating via a Personal Service Company (PSC).

To support businesses with this, HMRC has created a Check employment status for tax (CEST) tool. It can be used to assess whether a locum is classed as employed or self-employed. Members can use this tool and save a copy of the report as a record should HMRC later challenge a decision.

Members who have any questions about IR35 can contact us by emailing [email protected]

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