19 August 2022
NCHA member update - 19 August
- FDA finalises rule to allow access to over-the-counter hearing aids
- UK hearing aid sales growth slows in Q2
- Booster jabs from September
- Join the NCHA's clinical committee
- HCPC updates standards of proficiency
- Otoscopy research - get involved
- Other sector news
FDA finalises rule to allow access to over-the-counter hearing aids
This week, the FDA issued a final rule to establish a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids in the US.
The FDA said it hopes new OTC hearing aids will help improve access to hearing solutions for more Americans. US vice president Kamala Harris said the government hoped this would reduce hearing care costs in the US.
The move recognises the high cost of healthcare in general in the US compared to the EU and UK and the need to tackle the significant, growing public health challenge that unaddressed hearing loss has become.
Based on previous OTC-type devices trialled in the US, it is not clear what the price point of new OTCs will be. Still, it seems likely that they will continue to exceed the cost of hearing care in countries like the UK, where patients have access to low-cost options directly from a qualified hearing care professional.
If you have any questions about this story and hearing health policy, get in touch by email at [email protected]
The latest BIHIMA data show NHS and private hearing aid sales slowed between Q1 and Q2 2022 but were still higher than Q2 sales in the previous three years. BIHIMA said this "could be that we're starting to see a levelling off after an initial surge in catch-up sales post-pandemic".
The JCVI has issued guidance on the Covid-19 booster vaccination programme for autumn 2022. This confirms that all frontline healthcare workers will be offered the Covid booster vaccine this autumn.
NHS England has confirmed that the following JCVI advice, the following groups should be offered some form of booster in the autumn:
- Health and social care staff
- Everyone aged 50 and over
- Carers who are over the age of 16
- People over five whose health puts them at greater risk, this includes pregnant women
- People over five who share a house with somebody with a weakened immune system
NHS England added that individual UK nations would organise their own rollouts ahead of the winter.
The NCHA will work with sector partners to clarify the arrangements and will keep members informed.
NCHA members can now express an interest in joining our new Clinical Advice and Guidance Committee. The Committee will lead on advice and guidance to support NCHA and members on various clinical issues. If you are a member and interested in joining the Committee, please email [email protected].
The HCPC has updated its standards of proficiency for the first time since 2015. The revised standards set expectations of registrants' knowledge and ability in a healthcare landscape. All hearing aid dispensers and clinical scientist members are strongly advised to read the HCPC update.
You can also read this blog to learn more about the changes.
Take part in this research into audiologists' otoscopy examination using video-otoscopic images.
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