22 July 2022
NCHA member update – 22 July
- Important - HCPC registration renewal
- Hearing instrument sales return to growth
- Join the NCHA - hearing health policy officer
- Cybersecurity best practices for audiologists
- Lifesaving 999 BSL service goes live
- HCPC meets just 1 of 5 FTP standards
- Get involved
- Other sector news
- Health policy updates
Important - HCPC registration renewal
Hearing aid dispensers have until 31 July to complete their registration renewal with the HCPC. Renew your registration quickly and easily by using your online account.
- Step 1: Activate your account
- Step 2: Log in to your HCPC account
- Step 3: Complete your declarations
- Step 4: Pay your fee
Hearing instrument sales return to growth
Industry sales of hearing aids in Europe increased by 33% from 2020 to 2021, says the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA).
EHIMA President Eric Bernard said the return to pre-pandemic growth figures showed an "undiminished demand for high-quality hearing solutions".
EHIMA-initiated EuroTrak surveys of people with hearing loss have been released for 2022, including UK neighbours such as France, the Netherlands, and Germany. They show an increased awareness of timely hearing loss's benefits. View the 2022 surveys, including marketing tracking surveys worldwide, here.
Join the NCHA - hearing health policy officer
The NCHA seeks a clinician to join its policy team as a hearing health policy officer. The permanent role offers hybrid working, full or part-time options and a competitive salary. The deadline for applications is 27 July. Learn more and apply.
Cybersecurity best practices for audiologists
The Hearing Journal has published cybersecurity steps for audiologists to protect their practices and patients in a digitised world and the missteps to avoid.
Josiah Dykstra, PhD, the owner of Designer Security, outlines five best practices ranging from validating your policies to good cyber hygiene. He warned: "Every day you put off cybersecurity is a day of high risk to you and your patients, but simple steps and dedicated effort can substantially lower your risk."
Alicia D.D. Spoor said: "Many audiologists think cybersecurity is only the responsibility of the practice owner or clinic manager when, in reality, it is everyone's responsibility,"
Read the complete article.
Lifesaving 999 BSL service goes live
The 999 British Sign Language (BSL) service went live on 17 June, giving BSL signers across the UK equal access to the fire, police, ambulance and coastguard emergency services. Read more.
HCPC meets just 1 of 5 FTP standards
PSA's latest review of the HCPC has shown it met just 13 of 18 standards and just 1 of 5 fitness to practise (FTP) standards. The HCPC welcomed the PSA report, saying it had "made significant improvements in FTP" and hoped this would help it meet PSA standards next time.
- Learn about the FAMOUS study, which will research follow-up care and monitoring for new adult hearing aid users. To learn more, express your interest.
- Share your experiences of hearing loss and tinnitus research in the UK by completing this survey.
- Take part in a research project into audiologists' views on delivering care for musicians.
- Obituary: audiology remembers David Baguley.
- There's still time to join the 27 July HCPC webinar on Equality, diversity and inclusion. Read more.
- The HCPC is also hosting a webinar for employers on FTP on 16 November.
- Tips on completing your CPD.
- The CQC has encouraged people with hearing loss to share their experiences of care.
- Following our 17 June update on Covid, sector bodies have also updated the joint Covid guidance.
- RNID launches campaign to fight for better access to subtitles and audio descriptions on video-on-demand services
NHS England has thanked ear services teams for their work in supporting the NHS.
On 1 July, 42 ICSs were established across England on a statutory basis.
Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) that manage ICSs, have assumed delegated responsibility for primary and community care, including NHS audiology.
The NHS Confederation has said DHSC and NHS England plan on 'refreshing' the 2019 Long Term Plan. However, with an interim government, it is unclear whether a refreshed document will be published soon.
These documents describe NHS England's approach to oversight of ICBs and trusts for 2022/23. See the NHS Oversight Framework page for more detail on the oversight process.
NHS England plans to reduce staff by 30-40% whole-time equivalents, reducing 20,000 employees by 6,000-9,000, according to the HSJ.
NHS in England backs a "digital revolution to bust Covid backlogs and deliver more tailored care for patients". The support included £2 billion from the spending review to help digitise the NHS and social care sector. However, given events in Westminster last week, it is not yet clear what changes will now happen.
NHS England has published its latest consultant-led referral to treatment (RTT) waiting times data. The data shows that at the end of May 2022, 6.6 million patients were waiting to start treatment with a median waiting time of 12.7 weeks - an increase of 100,000 patients and a new record. However, more than 330,000 patients waited more than one year and 8,028 more than two years to start treatment.
David Hare, chief executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said:
"The backlog is now not only a health crisis but increasingly an economic one given that over half of all people waiting for NHS treatment are of working age." He called on the NHS to make better use of capacity in the independent sector to meet patient needs promptly.
As expected, NHS England (NHSE) is imposing fiscal rules on ICSs. The HSJ reports that NHSE is to "restrict spending at five deficit ICSs", adding that ICSs will be "assessed on whether and how far they are from breaking even, and their ability to deliver savings, rather than the previous metric of performance against their financial plans".
The HSJ also reports that NHS leaders have called for IT systems to be simplified for
interoperability. NHSE transformation director Dr Tim Ferris said there is a need to "simplify the number of systems that we need to build interoperability between". He added that the goal was to have enough systems to encourage competition and innovation but a limited number to minimise how many interoperability bridges were required to connect them.
In England, NHS employees will receive a 4.5% pay increase on average, with lower-paid frontline staff seeing more substantive uplifts in response to inflation than higher-paid management.
In response, the NHS Confederation has raised concerns that the NHS budget only accounts for a 3% increase in pay and, therefore, cuts to frontline care will need to meet the funding gap.
The new BMA chair said the NHS doctors' strike is "inevitable" due to chronic underfunding. Doctors have voted for a 30% increase in salaries over the next five years. Read more.
In Scotland, medical and dental staff will be awarded a 4.5% pay increase for this year, backdated to April 2022.
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